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DEC Decides Vela Has To Forfeit Games

It was all semantics today as PSJA Memorial led the emergency DEC meeting to decide the fate of Edinburg Vela’s boys basketball team.

Athletic Coordinator Michael Salinas spoke first for Edinburg Vela, explaining how the team who is 31-3 could have allowed a player to play illegally.

Coach Salinas mentioned that the coaches were bamboozled by the parents who claimed to have sold their house and moved into the district.

He showed evidence that the family moved in and coach Lalo Rios explained that he had made one visit to the house.

Rios explained that he made a short visit where he entered the living room, and that the visit counted as a verify of residence.

Both Salinas and Rios also realized that more could have been done to verify that the player was still living there and that a second visit wasn’t made until they realized the error.

The DEC, lead by PSJA Memorial moved the meeting along, and it was PSJA’s Athletic Director, Orlando Garcia that put an end to the debate by saying that the mandatory minimum penalty for the violation was forfeiture of all games the student athlete played in.

The DEC voted with all the Edinburg schools minus Vela abstaining, and PSJA Memorial who was the DEC chair abstaining as well.  The remaining PSJA schools voted 3-0 in favor of the forfeitures.

The DEC had to decide whether Lalo Rios should be disciplined further.  The committee decided that enough damage had been done and did not seek further punishment.

Vela would move this to the UIL’s State Executive Committee which is in Austin tomorrow.

With the forfeiture of games the records for the teams will change and make the playoff look different.

Edinburg and PSJA North would end up with identical records if PSJA North defeats PSJA tonight, and Vela defeats Edinburg.

PSJA Memorial would enter as the third seed and Economedes would take the final spot.

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