Athletic Association Changes Result of Controversial Football Game

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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa High School Athletic Association has announced that Des Moines East High School forfeit in their football game last Friday against Ames High School is now a “no contest.” The game will not be considered a “win” for Ames or a “loss” for East on their records.

Des Moines Public Schools released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

The Iowa High School Athletic Association has informed Des Moines Public Schools that the forfeit forced upon the East Scarlets football team in their game last Friday against Ames High School is now a “no contest.” The game will not be considered a “win” for Ames or a “loss” for East on their records.

“While it was impossible to correct this situation – namely, turning back the clock and playing the game last Friday – this is at least a half step forward to remedy this situation and move on,” said Tom Ahart, superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools. “It’s unfortunate that this situation was created in the first place, but I appreciate that the IHSAA recognized the directive they made last week was wrong and are bringing some measure of fairness to East High School and their students.”

Last Friday, the IHSAA and Ames reacted together to unsubstantiated and incredible safety concerns at East that resulted from social media posts. At that time, the IHSAA directed DMPS officials to either reschedule the game for that night in Ames, Saturday at East (in daylight only) or forfeit. The Des Moines Police Department had informed the school district that there was no credible threat to East High School.

“I really want to thank the community for their great support in this situation,” added Ahart. “Thousands of people weighed in to express their support of East and expecting something be done to correct the situation. The East side stood strong and proud for their Scarlets, but they also had great support from all of Des Moines and across Iowa.”

Last Friday’s game was to have been Senior Night at East. That event has been rescheduled for this Thursday, beginning at 5:40 PM at Williams Stadium.

“As I said last week, this was about more than one football game,” said Ahart. “What happened was an insult to our schools, our students and our entire community as some internet rumors gave people an excuse to turn their backs on Des Moines. On Thursday evening, let’s all come together for our community and, most importantly, for a great group of students.”

East High School plays their final regular season game on Friday night at Sioux City North.


  • DSM Tim

    The AD’s from both schools had a work around already agreed upon by both schools until Ahart stepped in. Boy, the man loves to see himself on TV. This would have been a non story until Ahart stepped in and made the decision to forfeit because he felt slighted by the accusation that one of his schools may be unsafe because a threat they thought credible enough to add extra police and security for their students during the day.

  • Troy V

    Still don’t understand why the IHSAA was going to PENALIZE the team that wanted to play and REWARD the team that refused to play?
    If anything, the original decision should have been that AMES FORFEITED and then revisited and came to this decision today.
    If a Youth Baseball team only has 8 players and REFUSES to play, they are the ones that forfeit, not the team that had all 9 players show up and are ready to play.
    The IHSAA looks idiodic in this entire mess to me. time for changes within the IHSAA administration.

  • Katie

    Gee Aaron Hepker, I wonder who you side with in this situation. “Unsubstantiated and incredible” social media posts? Is this an opinion piece? Because there is definitely some editorializing taking place. A truly unbiased piece does not include that kind of reporting and quotes multiple sources —on both sides of an issue. Journalism at its worst. Boo.

  • john ross

    This whole situation made Ames look bad. It proves the city’s calls for diversity are nothing more than lip service. They want minorities, but none of the baggage.

  • Amanda

    And what if they allowed the game to happen and something bad HAD happened, the universe would have freaked over IHSAA allowing them to play. Apparently safety is not a priority for the Des Moines Public Schools.

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