ON THIS DATE IN 1928: McKinley’s William Centeio ruled ineligible

On this date in 1928, William Centeio of McKinley paid the price for raising a few too many eyebrows.

Centeio recovered three fumbles to lead the Tigers over Saint Louis 7-6 three days before. The Crusaders were tipped off that Centeio, who had been playing for the Tigers for years and was still a student at the public school, was older than the league mandated 21.

Saint Louis protested the victory and ordered it overturned but lost that plea. The league ruled that even though Centeio was proven to be 22 1/2 years old, the game would count in the standings because Saint Louis failed to blow the whistle on him until after the game.

The legal battle marred the contest enjoyed by a record 13,000 spectators.

Centeio, who insisted to coach Neal Blaisdell that he thought he was 20 years old, was ruled ineligible. Kamehameha went on to win the league in part because it was able to play a Centeio-less McKinley squad the final week.

Centeio, who went on to play for years in club ball, did get to share the field with his schoolmates again just two months after being ruled ineligible.

McKinley hosted Junior College power Weber State and beat the Wildcats 13-7 and Centeio played guard for the high school eleven and was featured on advertisements leading up to the game.


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