Elgin High School's varsity boys soccer program is being investigated for using an illegal player this season, violating IHSA rules.
"I was notified this morning that Elgin High School may have an illegal player, violating IHSA bylaw 3.101," Dr. Terri Lozier, assistant superintendent for secondary schools in Elgin Area School District U-46 told the Daily Herald Thursday afternoon.
"I have opened an investigation and I'm working to get to the bottom of the situation."
Opposing coaches have identified the player in question as junior Omar Lopez, one of the Maroons' top players who has helped Elgin to a 14-2-3 season that included winning the Upstate Eight Conference River Division championship. The opposing coaches have provided credible evidence that Lopez has also played for the Elgin Pumas club soccer team this fall.
IHSA bylaw 3.101 states: During the school season for a given sport, in a school which maintains a school team in that sport, a student shall not participate on any nonschool team, nor as an individual unattached in nonschool competition, in that given sport or in any competition that involves the skill of the sport in question. Violation shall cause ineligibility for a period not to exceed 365 days. An exception may be made by the Executive Director under the guidelines adopted by the board of directors for competitions sanctioned directly by the National Governing Body or its official Illinois affiliate for the sport.
The violation, if proven, could cause Elgin to forfeit all games it won in which Lopez played, and it could affect Elgin's participation in the upcoming state playoffs.
"The IHSA is waiting for Elgin High School to complete its investigation," said IHSA assistant executive director Beth Sauser, who is the association's boys soccer administrator.
Messages left for Elgin High athletic director Paul Pennington and school principal Krystal Thomas were not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.
Elgin is the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Class 3A Streamwood sectional and is scheduled to open regional play at Hampshire on Tuesday against the winner of a Monday play-in game between Rockford East and Rockford Jefferson.
Check back to dailyherald.com later for more details, if they become available.
Steve Nichols contributed to this story