Chicago area youth football league suspended due to teen playing while enrolled in high school

A big controversy is surrounding one of the Chicago area's biggest youth football leagues.

One player says he and his team are being punished because he is too smart in school.

Normally, being incredibly smart in class is a good thing, but not at all in this case.

"I did not know I was doing any harm to the league by simply being smart and ahead of myself," said Tremayne Gandy.

Gandy is 13-years-old and apologized to his teammates after being told two weeks ago that he could no longer be a Glenwood Cougar because he is currently a high school sophomore.

According to his football league's bylaws, high schoolers are ineligible to play, but Gandy's mother said she was unaware of this rule, as her son has been on the team since he was five years old.

Gandy's coach says he didn't realize the teen skipped fifth grade because he was attending a small private school.


League officials just got wind of the violation even though Gandy played on the team throughout his freshman year.

"I was very upset, because I felt like all of this was my fault, and it was just upsetting," said Gandy. "I was really looking forward to getting another Superbowl trophy, and just to play with all my brothers for the last time."

"We as adults should sit down with common sense, and figure out what's right and what's wrong, a rule has been broken, we all know that, we all accept that, the kid is in high school, we got it, but do we penalize the other 200 kids for this kid that is smart," said Gary Richardson, President of the Glenwood Cougars.

The Glenwood Cougars are part of the Southwest Midget Football League, consisting of about 14 organizations, all from the south suburbs.

The league has been around for about 50 years. 

The Cougars have won state finals four years in a row with annual fees costing hundreds of dollars. 

Gandy's coach says the entire organization, including five football teams and five cheerleading teams, are now on probation because of this finding.

That is about 200 young people.

For now, the Cougars will remain hard at work at Hickory Glen Park, practicing three times a week, but for this season it may not matter.

FOX 32 reached out to the league director for a comment, but have not heard back.