Jefferson High's football team had to forfeit its season opener Friday against Lincoln because it couldn't field enough eligible players. As of Friday morning, Jefferson had only 13 eligible players.
Coach Henry Johnson told administrators that he might have been able to clear six more, but that was not enough to satisfy City Commissioner Hal Harkness.
"The bottom line is safety, and I told Jefferson that 13 or 19 players was not an acceptable (number) to me," Harkness said. "I suggested they forfeit until they can rectify the situation."
Donald Sasaki, Jefferson's athletic director, died of a stroke last Monday and had yet to complete much of the paperwork needed for football eligibility. Players must have insurance, physical and parent-consent forms completed before competing.