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Burwell's Bid to Play Football Suffers Setback

September 25, 1987|STEVE ELLING | Times Staff Writer

Running back Sean Burwell's bid to play football this season hit a roadblock Thursday when a City Section rules subcommittee recommended to deny the junior athletic eligibility at Cleveland High.

Burwell, who rushed for 1,211 yards last season at Chaminade, is seeking eligibility under a provision that allows players to change schools without changing their home address if they prove hardship. Burwell lives within Cleveland's attendance boundaries and is enrolled at the school but has not changed his address.

The City's Interscholastic Athletic Committee is scheduled to make a final determination on his eligibility Monday. Sharon Burwell, Sean's mother, has provided financial statements and will testify regarding the hardship petition. If IAC votes to uphold the subcommittee's recommendation, Burwell will be ineligible for the 1987 season.

"It doesn't look too good," said Cleveland Coach Steve Landress, who confirmed the preliminary ruling.

City Section Commissioner Hal Harkness declined comment.

Burwell withdrew from Chaminade, a private parochial school in Canoga Park, protesting disciplinary measures taken after he was involved in an on-campus incident over the summer.

Burwell (6-0, 175) has been practicing with the Cleveland team and is a projected starter at tailback and cornerback, Landress said. Even if eligibility is granted, Burwell will miss Saturday's opener against Chatsworth.

"He's been out here working as hard as anybody," said Landress, who met with Sharon Burwell on Thursday to discuss the preliminary ruling. "It would be a crime if he can't play this year."

Burwell was expected to share time with junior tailback Mark Mooney (5-7, 175), who will start Saturday.

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