Golden Valley High football coach Dan Kelley was always confident that USC commit DeGabriel Floyd would be cleared to play for the Grizzlies this season through an appeal process. As it turned out, the situation didn’t even progress that far.
CIF Los Angeles City Section Commissioner John Aguirre told The Signal on Thursday that he had rescinded Floyd’s 18-month ineligibility ruling in the section, and effectively the state, after receiving documentation from the Floyds earlier this week.
“The parent provided us documentation that was sufficient in my opinion to say they lived where they said they lived,” said Aguirre, whose section originally ruled Floyd ineligible in May after it determined he violated state bylaw 202 when he played at Hawkins High of Los Angeles.
Bylaw 202 states that all information about a student’s eligibility must be accurate and complete.
Aguirre said that a Los Angeles Unified School District investigation during the spring could not verify that the Floyds lived at the address they’d provided to Hawkins while DeGabriel was a student there.
LAUSD could not contact the Floyds to verify the address, Aguirre said, because the Floyds had already moved and DeGabriel had transferred to Golden Valley.
Based on information from the investigation, the City Section ruled Floyd ineligible in late May, a status that was current as of Monday, when The Signal’s SCV High School Football Preview went to press.
Aguirre told The Signal on Aug.18 that the Floyds had missed the 15-day window to appeal, but he didn’t close the door on such an action.
“I can’t say yes, I can’t say no,” Aguirre said of the possibility of an appeal. “It depends on the info the Floyd family brings.”
Earlier this week, the Floyds told the City Section they had missed the appeal window because they did not originally receive the decision letter due to a move, according to Aguirre.
In response, Aguirre waived the timeline restriction and reviewed the Floyds’ documentation, deciding on it without an appeal committee.
“Because of the scenario of events and either the lack of communication or lack of information, I waived any timeline restriction,” Aguirre said.
The Southern Section, which honors the decisions of all other CIF sections statewide, originally ruled Floyd ineligible. Thursday, it updated its transfer database to show Floyd as eligible.
The news was received with excitement at Golden Valley, where Kelley praised Floyd’s maturity throughout the process.
“On the field and in the classroom and on campus, he stayed positive through the whole process,” Kelley said. “(Golden Valley Principal) Sal Frias and our athletic director and myself met with him multiple times to keep his morale up.”
Golden Valley opens its regular season tomorrow night at Canyon High against Highland of Palmdale.
Floyd, one of the Santa Clarita Valley’s most talented players, will be on the field.
At Hawkins last season, the four-star recruit made 85 total tackles and 10 sacks, according to MaxPreps. It appears, from Golden Valley’s scrimmage last week, that Kelley plans to utilize Floyd at wide receiver more than Hawkins did.
Floyd will also play safety.