By Angel Verdejo
Killeen Daily Herald
Jack Welch didn't waver when broached with the topic.
He wants to see Daxx Garman on the field tonight.
Garman, Southlake Carroll's starting quarterback, is committed to the University of Arizona and scheduled to lead the Dragons against Copperas Cove tonight (7:30 p.m.) at Bulldawg Stadium.
"I want to play the toughest people I possibly can to get us prepared, and I was really looking forward to playing against him," Cove's head coach, Welch said of Garman and the Dragons. "But even if he's not there, they're still going to be very similar."
But the senior quarterback might not play.
Tuesday, WFAA, the ABC-TV affiliate in Dallas, led its 10 p.m. newscast Tuesday with an investigative report into the eligibility of Garman, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior.
Garman transferred to Carroll, an affluent suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, in February, eventually winning the starting job this season. A backup at Midwest City (Okla.) Carl Albert High School as a sophomore, Garman moved to Jones (Okla.) High School for his junior season, playing eight games and leading Jones to a district title.
Garman, who lived in Choctaw (roughly six miles from Jones) transferred to Carl Albert (10.5 miles from Choctaw) with a hardship waiver. When he changed schools again, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association rules state he needed to apply for another waiver. Not doing so made Garman ineligible and Jones was forced to forfeit six games and its district title. A waiver was file retroactively and later denied.
In addition, OSSAA attorney Mark Grossman told WFAA, "The student who participated while ineligible was required to sit out at least an equal amount of participation in the coming year (eight games)."
Carroll ISD, in an open letter, stated the former District 6-5A executive committee "reviewed this case on multiple occasions" and Garman was ruled eligible. In addition, the letter said the, "UIL state office reviewed the case and agreed." Carroll's new district (7-5A) will hold an executive committee meeting today to review the case.
The Dragons have won seven state championships - four since 2002 in 5A - and two mythical national championships. Carroll, which won 49 straight games from 2004-07, is arguably the state's most recognizable team, garnering both positive and negative attention.
"This program has had a target on its chest for many years, so it's nothing new to us," Carroll head coach Hal Wasson said. "We're targeted and we wouldn't know how to act any other way."