Banned Southlake Carroll QB loses appeal

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on September 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 15 at 6:27 PM

AUSTIN — The starting quarterback for Southlake Carroll High School, Daxx Garman, lost his appeal to be reinstated to the team by a vote of 4-0 on Tuesday.

Garman was initially declared ineligible to play football after a News 8 investigation raised questions about his family's residency in Texas.

The University Interscholastic League ruling means Garman will never be able to play football for Southlake Carroll —  or any public high school in Texas — again.

The student's family claimed that he had received death threats at Jones High School in Oklahoma, which was said to have prompted the move to Texas.

The five-member UIL state executive committee listened to two hours of testimony on Tuesday, almost all of it in support of Garman's bid to remain a member of the Southlake Carroll Dragons.

But in the end, it wasn't enough.

The panel heard from Daxx Garman, both of his parents and two of their attorneys.  Southlake Carroll's head coach, the  athletic director and the school's principal also testified.

All attempted to convince the UIL committee that Garman came to Southlake in February so his mom could be closer to her sister.

The committee members, however, were hung up on two items: The fact that Garman had been ruled ineligible to play football in Oklahoma this year; and the lease agreement for the family's rented house in Southlake, which contained a 30-day clause giving the Garmans an out if Daxx was not accepted in the Carroll ISD.

"In the event the Tenant's son, Daxx Garman, is not accepted in the Carroll ISD Football program, Tenant will have the option to cancel this Lease..."

Garman family attorney Scott Adams said putting that language in the lease contract was his idea.

"I bet I haven't read a lease agreement in 15 or 20 years," Adams said. "I put that in there simply because of all the torment that they have gone through with the Internet, and the cell phones, and the phone calls — and it was horribly worded."

After all the rhetoric, it was time to vote.

"The case has come to us because of what DECs [district executive committees] have done, and parents having strong emotions for their children to come up here and appeal one more time," said UIL executive committee member Gil Garza. "We're here to decide whether or not this move was for athletic reasons."

Just before voting, committee members expressed sadness —  but were not swayed.

One of the committee members even apologized to Daxx Garman for what he's been put through, but the vote against letting him return to the gridiron was 4-0, upholding an earlier ruling from a local UIL executive committee.

The family and their supporters left the hearing in Austin without comment about what Daxx Garman's football future holds, although he is said to have a long-term commitment from the University of Arizona.

He will not, however, be playing for any public high schools in the State of Texas.

The UIL only has jurisdiction over public schools, but to play football for a private school, Garman may have already missed the transfer date of September 8.

Some Southlake backers were worried the loss of Garman threatened to tank the Dragons' football season. The team is 2-1 so far this season.

The Carroll ISD released a statement late Tuesday afternoon that said the district "remains steadfast in its quest to comply with UIL rules, while also protecting the rights of the students and the families who reside in our district."

Carroll ISD was not critical of the UIL, but the district did comment about news coverage:

"Our disappointment in this situation comes from how the ensuing media coverage and negativity affected this high school boy and his teammates."

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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