Myrtle Beach football player J.J. Jones has been cleared to begin playing games, two weeks after he was originally deemed to be athletically ineligible.
Jones, a standout receiver, transferred from Socastee over the summer. He immediately took up offseason conditioning with his new team and participated in fall camp. However, on Aug. 28, two days before the Seahawks’ first game, Jones and his parents were informed that he was not allowed to play in that game or any other in any sport for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Jones is now eligible to play, said Horry County Schools spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier. His eligibility was approved this week.
Initially, the district stated that athletic eligibility was a school issue. It was not immediately clear why there was an issue with the transfer. Braves Principal Jeremy Rich has not responded to multiple requests for comment, and Myrtle Beach Principal Zach McQuigg did not immediately respond to messages Wednesday morning.
Jones’ father, Jon, told MyHorryNews.com that the family hired legal representation in the matter. Schools were closed all of last week due to the effects of Hurricane Dorian. This week, however, the two sides were able to come to terms to overrule the initial issue at hand.
That brings about some coincidental timing for Jones’ first game in a Seahawk uniform. Myrtle Beach plays at Socastee this Friday.
Myrtle Beach is currently the consensus No. 1 team in Class 4A, per the state media polls. It is a front-runner to repeat as state champion, and Jones’ addition only adds to that.
The 6-foot-4 junior gives Myrtle Beach quarterback Luke Doty another top-flight weapon on an offense that scored 52 points in a lopsided victory over Hanahan on Aug. 30.