Walton’s best year under Jason Norman has been decimated.
“Walton placed a student on its roster who is in his fifth year of high school and that is not permitted according to PSAL rules,” Feinberg said in a statement. “The information was discovered in a audit conducted by the PSAL."
After missing the playoffs each of the previous three years and going 5-11 last spring, Walton was thriving. It was 9-2, its only losses to Bronx A East leader Monroe. Now, Norman’s club has to win its final five league contests to even have a shot at the postseason.
An Rong Xu
Walton coach Jason Norman faults himself for the nine forfeits his team was handed for using an ineligible player.
“I screwed up,” Norman said. “It’s my team, it’s my fault. I had a fifth-year player on the team that I didn’t do my due diligence on to check the paperwork. … Firstly, I apologized to my team for making a mistake and I also apologized to the kid involved. He got yanked off the team unexpectedly through no fault of his own. He put a lot into this year.”
Norman said the player is outfielder Ronny Santana, who came to The Bronx after three years of high school in the Dominican Republic. He was listed as a junior last year when he should’ve been a senior, though it was done unknowingly by Walton, Norman said. In nine games, Santana was hitting .304 with seven hits in 23 at-bats, five runs scored and five RBIs.
“I told them I always talk about picking each other up and we have to do it again,” Norman said. “At this point, we have to try to win out the [regular] season or come close to it and hope all the work we did will account for something when they’re looking for at-large berths.”
The forfeits directly benefit Taft and Clinton. The two teams go from the bottom half to the top half of the division with two additional victories.
Jason Norman, Margie Feinberg, Department of Education spokesperson, PSAL, forfeits, Ronny Santana, The Bronx