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Massillon quarterback DaOne Owens not playing against Middletown (Delaware) amid eligibility questions

'The OHSAA is currently working through the transfer application' of Owens after he transferred to Massillon

MASSILLON, Ohio – When the Massillon Tigers take the field against Middletown (Delaware) on Friday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, they will do so without their starting quarterback.

Senior DaOne Owens was held out of the game as questions about his eligibility are in the process of being answered by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

“The OHSAA is currently working through the transfer application with this situation and the student hasn’t been approved yet,” OHSAA Director of Media Relations Tim Stried said in an email to SBLive.

Sources say the issue of eligibility stems from requirements set forth by the OHSAA if a player should transfer from one public school in Ohio to another as outlined in Bylaw 4-7-2. Any player who transfers from a public school to a public school would be eligible to play the first five games of the football season and then would be deemed ineligible starting in Week 6.

One of the exceptions to the eligibility rules is if a student moves into the new school district with both parents.

EXCEPTION 1: If a student is compelled to transfer to another high school as a result of a bona fide legal change of residence made by BOTH PARENTS (biological, adoptive or stepparents) from one public school district into another public school district, whether from outside the state of Ohio or within Ohio, the Executive Director’s Office, in its sole discretion, may waive all or part of the period of ineligibility for one or more sport/sport seasons at:

(a) the public high school in which the new residence is physically located (or any school to which the student is placed and enrolled in a multiple high school district) or;

(b) any non-public high school if family’s new residences is at least 15 miles from their former residence, as determined by the most direct route when using google maps or other such navigational system, or;

(c) any high school, public or non-public, if the new residence into which the family has moved is more than 80 miles from the residence from which the family moved, as determined by the most direct route when using google maps or other such navigational system, or;

The requirement that “both parents” make the move may be waived by the Executive Director’s Office if the marriage of the parents has been or is in the process of being legally terminated or if the parents were never married. In addition, the Executive Director’s Office, in its sole discretion, may extend conditional eligibility for up to 90 days immediately following the date of the student’s transfer in cases where parents are making a bona fide move into a residence that is more than 80 miles from their former residence, and there are extenuating circumstances that are presented which prevent one of the parents from making the move immediately. This 90- day conditional provision may be extended for up to 90 more days ONLY in the case of medical or military obligations that prevent one of the parents from making the move at the same time as the other parent.

If the person(s) making the bona fide move is not the biological or adoptive parent or stepparent of the student, the school administrator must disclose the custodial relationship, provide the court ordered documents and advise as to the whereabouts of the student’s biological or adoptive parents.

An Affidavit of Bona Fide Residence in the form requested by the Executive Director’s Office, must be submitted along with any request for the application of this exception.

Owens, who transferred to Massillon from Copley before this school year, has played in the first five games this year for the Tigers, who are 5-0 and No. 1 in the SBLive Ohio Power 25. Owens helped lead Massillon to a 15-13 win over previous No. 1 St. Edward last week when he ran for 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns as well a two-point conversion.

On the season, Owens has run for 602 yards and eight scores on 47 carries and has completed 22 of his 37 passes for 291 yards and four scores.

At Copley last season, Owens was second-team all-state in Division III, completing 195 of his 336 passes for 2,594 yards and 24 touchdowns while rushing for 1,422 yards and 17 more scores on 167 carries.

When asked about this situation, Massillon coach Nate Moore said "no comment."

This is a developing story and SBLive will update as more details become available.

-- Ryan Isley | | @sbliveoh

Ohio high school football: DaOne Owens Massillon football

Massillon quarterback DaOne Owens takes off for a run against Valdosta on August 18, 2023. The quarterback's eligibility is currently under question. Photo: Jeff Harwell