LHSAA confirms eligibility of Salmen basketball player

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association confirmed a Salmen High player’s eligibility, setting the stage for the Class 4A girls basketball title game to go on as planned Friday in Monroe.

The ruling came down early Tuesday morning, approximately 24 hours after the request to check into the eligibility of guard Macy DeGruy was submitted. Salmen is set to play Lafayette’s St. Thomas More in the 4A final at 6 p.m. Friday at the Louisiana-Monroe’s Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

In a one-page letter to the school and also distributed to the media, LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson said an investigation by his office found that DeGruy was and is academically eligible.

“After reviewing a copy of Macy’s transcript and report cards from 2011-12 and 2012-13, it has been determined that the student is currently passing all seven of the courses she is pursuing, which makes her academically eligible for the second semester of the 2012-13 school year,” Henderson said in the letter.

Salmen Principal Terri Wortmann said the outcome of the investigation was never in doubt and said she did not like the media scrutiny it received. Wortmann noted that LHSAA compliance team member Lloyd Wax checked the school’s records, including grades, last week.

“This was never in doubt,” Wortmann said. “We keep up with our student-athletes and their grades. They have to report to their coaches weekly because they’re students first.

“What I didn’t appreciate was the media coverage and innuendo that Salmen had done something wrong. Anybody can pick up the phone and report a violation and request an investigation whether there’s any basis for it or not.

“What I’d like now is for my girls to have a few days where they can just practice and concentrate on getting ready for the game.”