Wheaton High School Principal’s Appeal to Overturn Cancellation of Wrestling Season is Denied; Second Appeal to Follow

by MCS Staff

Wheaton High School Principal Joshua Munsey announced in a letter to parents of students on the Wheaton wrestling team that an appeal of the MPSSAA decision to not allow Wheaton High School wrestlers to participate in any post-season series has been denied. In the letter to parents, Munsey stated the following: “Yesterday, I represented the Wheaton High School wrestlers in a hearing appealing the MPSSAA Sanction that Wheaton High School wrestlers are not allowed to participate in the post-season series.  This afternoon, I received the attached letter denying our appeal.  Also this afternoon, I followed the steps outlined in this letter to appeal this decision.”  Principal Munsey has told us that he filed for the initial appeal as soon as he knew he was able to do so. He has also followed the steps for a second appeal that is likely to be heard this week. The full letter denying the appeal can be seen below.

Dear Mr. Munsey: 

On Monday, February 13, 2023, the MPSSAA Appeals Committee held a hearing to review your appeal of the penalties imposed upon your school’s wrestling team in the recent case involving the use of an ineligible player.    

Mr. Andy Warner, MPSSAA Executive Director, provided opening comments and documents for the committee.  The committee then heard testimony from Dr. Jeff Sullivan, Director, Systemwide Athletics, Montgomery County Public Schools and from yourself and two parents.    

After careful consideration and discussion of the details of this incident, the committee voted to uphold the COMAR 13A.06.03.05A(1)(a) and (b) penalties of declaring a forfeit of all games in which there was a violation and declaring the team not eligible for championship honors for the current school year, imposed by MCPS.  The committee determined that there was sufficient evidence that not only were your coaches promoting a culture in which sportsmanship and fair play takes a back seat to winning but there was also evidence that the members of the team knew that the athlete was not eligible to be on the team.  There was also evidence that your school failed to notice that a student mentioned in its social media accounts as winning a tournament was not an MCPS student.  The committee determined that the severity of the violation justifies the penalty imposed. While wrestling does pose a unique situation due to it being both a team and individual sport, the whole team shall be held accountable just as with any other sport where team members are not able to play in the post-season due to a violation. 

In accordance with COMAR 13A.06.03.05D(9), a member MPSSAA school, student or coach may appeal the decision of the MPSSAA Appeals committee to the State Superintendent of Schools within 30 days after the receipt of the Appeals Committee decision.  The State Superintendent of Schools, upon examination of the facts, may, in his or her discretion, allow the appeal and appoint a special committee of three local school superintendents of schools to hear the appeal.  The committee of superintendents may deny or uphold the appeal or modify the penalty.     


Kevin C. Hook, JD  

MPSSAA Appeals Committee Representative, District IV  

Cc:  Mr. R Andrew Warner, Executive Director of the MPSSAA  

Dr. Jeffrey Sullivan, Director of Systemwide Athletics  


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