It's official: The senior slated to lead Southlake Carroll (Texas) this season will not get that chance, after Daxx Garman's final attempt at getting his eligibility reinstated was unanimously denied by the University Interscholastic League, the governing body of Texas public high school sports.
According to TheOldCoach.com and The Dallas Morning News, a committee made up of Waco ISD athletic director Johanna Denson, San Antonio ISD athletic director Gil Garza,Troy ISD superintendent Kerry Hansen, and Houston ISD athletic director Daryl Wade agreed unanimously with the District 7-5A decision in late August to revoke Garman's eligibility after it determined that he moved from Oklahoma to playing football for Southlake Carroll. One of the key issues of debate -- and possibly the lynchpin that keeps Garman off the field for his senior season -- was a clause in the Garmans' lease within Carroll ISD boundaries that stipulated they could terminate the lease if Garman was found to be ineligible to play sports in the Carroll ISD.
Here's the exact wording of that clause, according to the Morning News.
In the document, a clause declares that "in the event the Tenant's son, Daxx Garman, is not accepted in the Carroll ISD Football program, Tenant will have the option to cancel this Lease..."
Among other issues brought up in the hearing, the Morning News and WFAA reported that Garman's family claimed they received death threats, Carroll ISD athletic director Hal Wasson called the campaign that led to Garman's ineligibility a "witch hunt," and later claimed that he knew nothing of Garman -- a highly touted passer who had already committed to Arizona -- before he arrived in Carroll.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Garman family attorney Scott Adams threw himself on the metaphorical sword by taking responsibility for the eligibility clause in the Garmans' lease.
"I added that clause because I was worried [Garman] would get here, in Southlake ... I was afraid they would get here and it would ugly," the Morning News reported Adams said in the hearing. "I hate that I did it. This is one of the finest young men I have ever met. [...] There is no shred of evidence that there was any recruiting."
By hearing's end, it became clear that the UIL committee was still concerned about the issues that led to Garman's ineligibility in Oklahoma, with committee chairman Mike Motheral, the superintendent of Sundown ISD, eventually citing the Oklahoma decision as a key factor in what UIL would decide.
"Whether he was ineligible or eligible in Oklahoma is a big factor here. It creates points of discussion," Motheral said in the hearing.
There's still time for Garman to try and find a way onto a football field for his senior season, but those opportunities are fleeting. At the time of Garman's first hearing, speculation here and elsewhere centered on Episcopal School in Dallas or Covenant Christian Academy in Colleyville, which is near Carroll. Episcopal takes a 2-1 record into a Friday matchup at All Saints Episcopal School, though last Saturday's 49-7 loss to Parish Episcopal School might make some curious about an Episcopal team with Garman at quarterback. Covenant Christian is also 2-1 heading into a Friday matchup with Dallas Lutheran.
Whether each program would take Garman and work him into their season plans this late in a season is questionable, and brings Garman's commitment to the long, drawn-out UIL appeal process into question if his priority was getting on the field this year. Regardless, he now faces the reality of a scramble to put on a high school helmet a few more times, or an entire senior season without competitive football.
Clearly, neither is what the family anticipated when it arrived in Carroll from Oklahoma last winter.