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SportsHigh SchoolFootball

Oyster Bay football player John Ottaunick's dad says family won't appeal overage ruling

Oyster Bay football player John Ottaunick.

Oyster Bay football player John Ottaunick. Credit: Chris Ottaunick

Christopher Ottaunick, the father of the Oyster Bay football player who was deemed too old to play after missing the age cutoff by 17 days, has said that his family has decided to not appeal the decision.

John Ottaunick, who turned 19 on June 13, missed the July 1 cutoff as delineated in the state athletic association handbook. Christopher said that his lawyers told him an appeal to the state education commissioner would likely not be successful.

"They said that filing an appeal would not be worth it," he wrote in an email. "The state board of [education] can hold on to the appeal for 30 days, [and] after 30 days they have five days to give me an answer -- which would be, 'Sorry, but your son aged out.' They would not have to view the reason why he aged out."

John, who was adopted from Siberia when he was 11 and spoke no English, was placed in the fourth grade, rather than sixth.

The running back/linebacker, who is 5-10, 150 pounds, played one year of varsity football last year. He also competed in winter track.

The age of elegibility rule is listed under a section of the handbook entitled 'Commissioner's Regulations,' so appeals would have to be directed to Dr. John B. King Jr. rather than Nassau athletics or the state athletic association.

Nassau athletics executive director Nina Van Erk said that, "While this situation is unfortunate, Section VIII supports the regulations of the Commissioner of Education."

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