Updated 3:39 p.m.Kahlil McKenzie
, the nation's No. 2 recruit according to 247Sports
, will not be playing football this season for Clayton Valley Charter (Concord, Calif.)
At least, that is the ruling from the North Coast Section office of the California Interscholastic Federation.
The 6-foot-4, 340-pound defensive tackle and son of Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie transferred from De La Salle to Clayton Valley in June for unspecified reasons.
See story when McKenzie transferred
At the time of the transfer, NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon, said that students transferring from private to any public school — Charter or otherwise — still have to meet exhaustive and strict rules. The most important is that a transfer cannot be "athletically motivated." If deemed so, then no matter if there's a change of residency or not, Lemmon can rule a student athletically ineligible for up to a school year.
NCS eligibility rules are laid out here, specifically bylaw 207/208/510
Evidently, Lemmon decided the transfer was athletically motivated, thus McKenzie was ruled ineligible on Thursday for the season. When contacted Thursday, Lemmon said he could not address specific eligibility cases, and directed questions to Clayton Valley.
Clayton Valley coach Tim Murphy said Thursday he was asked not to confirm or comment until the McKenzie family made an announcement. Saturday afternoon, Reggie McKenzie released this statement through the Oakland Raiders:
"Kahlil will be in attendance at Clayton Valley Charter's opening game and will continue to support his teammates and coaches throughout his senior season. Like any family, we have always made decisions based on what's the best interest of our children, according to our Christian values. The fact that a system would deny any child of his or her senior year, in any activity for which that student has a God-given passion, is highly disheartening."
The McKenzie family said they will seek the appeal procedures immediately.
Clayton Valley opens its season tonight at the Honor Bowl
against Carson (Carson City, Nev.)
Last month, McKenzie was voted the Defensive Lineman MVP at Nike's The Opening Camp in Oregon, where he announced his college commitment to Tennessee.
At the time of McKenzie's transfer, De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh wished the standout the best and called him "one of the more talented guys we've ever had." McKenzie had 74 tackles and a team-best 12 sacks in 2013. De La Salle opened its season with a 63-0 win
over Jesuit (Carmichael) on Friday night.
"Kahlil is a great kid - a great player - and we wish him nothing but the best," Alumbaugh said.
Kahlil himself said he would not comment on his reasons to leave De La Salle or the NCS ruling. Instead he offered this on his Twitter account Saturday afternoon. "The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice #FreeKahlil #FreeTheTransfers gonna stay positive this whole time."
True to his word, Kahlil, known as a gregarious sort, later Tweeted: "On the bright side Bama and Auburn are playing bad so it's still a good day!" He added "#GoVols."
The reference to #FreeTheTransfers is in response to decisions on five other transfers Clayton Valley received this season. The decision on their eligibility is not known.