Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School is suspending its football program for the remainder of the school year, and all of its coaches are released from the program and school.
The announcement came from Tamiko Armstead, president of Cardinal Ritter Prep.
The move came after the school, working closely with the Archdiocese of St. Louis, investigated an allegation involving one of its scholar-athletes who played in the team’s first regular-season football game, for which he was ineligible. He had been suspended after being ejected in the state championship game last season. The game included 32 penalties for 296 yards, and tempers flared during the game.
Armstead said she immediately reported the incident to the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), and began a further collaborative investigation with the MSHAA. Cardinal Ritter’s athletic director, Preston Thomas, has decided to retire.
“While this is a very difficult time for Cardinal Ritter, it is important to us to honor the school’s mission of Faith Development, Academics and Leadership — and the responsibility it has to its students, its community and our Catholic faith to live out that mission — in all that we do,” Armstead wrote.
The investigation is still ongoing, the school said, adding that “we persevere in upholding our mission — and in prayer for all of those involved.”
Cardinal Ritter had a record of 7-0 this season and was second in the Class 3 title game last season.