MHSAA reverses field, ruling Walled Lake Western’s Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, August 22, 2019, 4:07 pm

Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen will have a senior year, after all.

Initially ruled ineligible for taking high school-level classes as a homeschooled student prior to enrolling at Walled Lake Western, Abdur-Yaseen got a reprieve Thursday afternoon, when the MHSAA Executive Committee reversed that decision.

There was relief on the Western side, having reported the original issue themselves earlier in the summer.

“Walled Lake Schools self-reported, worked with the family on an appeal, and we are pleased with the outcome on behalf of the student, team, school and community. We appreciate that the MHSAA reflected on the situation again, and is in support of the student playing football,” Brian Swinehart, the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools’ district director of athletics told STATE CHAMPS! Network in an email. “This is a win for everyone.”

Yaseen was initially ruled ineligible at the Executive Committee’s Aug. 1 meeting, but that body reversed its decision after discussion on Thursday, having gotten the additional information from the district. 

Thursday’s MHSAA press release read, in part:

“Transcripts originally submitted to the MHSAA were incomplete regarding the student’s academic standing. The Executive Committee originally ruled the student ineligible for 2019-20 based on this initial information.

“The new material consisted of the full records of the student’s educational history, including work completed as a homeschool student both working independently as well as taking courses in the online academy through 2015-16.  After a thorough review of these academic records, the Executive Committee confirmed Walled Lake Western’s initial determination that this student began ninth grade to start the 2016-17 school year, making the student eligible through the 2019-20 school year.”

Each student’s total eligibility is limited to eight semesters once the clock starts, but the new ruling indicates that the MHSAA now believes Yaseen did not exhaust any of that eligibility as an eighth grader before beginning his time at Western as a freshman.

“At the end of the day, the process works,” said MHSAA spokesperson John Johnson. “The school initiated the process, it was reviewed by its peers on the executive committee, the school exercised its ability to appeal and provide additional information, and the executive committee reevaluated and reversed its previous decision.”

Abdur-Yaseen is considered one of the top wideouts in the 2020 class in Michigan, and is already committed to Northwestern. The Western staff and the Yaseen family held out hope throughout the appeals process.