The Canyon High girls volleyball team was stripped of its L.A. Games championship Friday when the tournament committee ruled that the team had used an ineligible player.
Burroughs of Burbank, which was defeated by Canyon in the final two weeks ago, will be awarded the championship, according to Susan Shank, volleyball coordinator for the L.A. Games.
"This is a very infrequent happening," said Willie Hooker, chairman of the L.A. Games. "Usually a team is disqualified on the spot. This is the first one that's gone to the championship without our knowledge."
Tami Aldrich, an All-Southern Section selection last season, played for Canyon in the final rounds of the tournament after the team's roster was depleted by the departure of several players to a junior tournament in Davis, Calif.
Shannon Miller of Canyon, who was in Davis on the day of the championship match, was selected as the tournament's most valuable player. Miller was stripped of the award after it was learned that Aldrich had worn her uniform in the final three matches. Burroughs' Traci Tilton, a senior outside hitter, will replace Miller as MVP.
Said Linda Murphy, Burroughs coach: "This is not the way we'd like to have won the championship."
Bill White, the Canyon principal, was notified by Coach Ardyce Masters early this week that there might be a problem with Aldrich's eligibility. White contacted the L.A. Games committee on Thursday.
Hooker commended Masters on stepping forward with the information. In the past, most violations have been reported by opposing coaches, he said. White said no action will be taken against Masters.
"I think she was swept up in a situation and did what she thought was best for the kids," White said. "We were the ones that took steps to correct it. It's not like anyone lifted a rock."
White said he believes the situation was caused by a lack of communication.
"They never once spelled out to the coaches in the letter that seniors could not play," White said. "I know that there have been other seniors on other teams."
Said Masters: "I have gone through my rule sheet and there is nothing that says seniors can't play."
Said Hooker: "We sent out rules for everything. One of our standing rules, and it has always been since the beginning of the games, is that no senior graduating in June can participate in the games because we want it to be interaction between youngsters.