The senior will still be ineligible for the postseason should Braden River qualify
At a mediation hearing on Thursday in Gainesville, the Florida High School Athletic Association and Braden River High came to an agreement that wide receiver Knowledge McDaniel is eligible to play in the Pirates' final six regular season games.
McDaniel will still be ineligible to play in the postseason, should Braden River qualify.
The senior was originally ruled ineligible on Aug. 8, after an investigation into Braden River athletics found McDaniel had received impermissible benefits last season because he lived with Todd and Regina Thoma after his grandmother was evicted from her home, in an effort to remain at the school instead of transferring to Southeast High.
Todd Thoma is the president of the school's booster club and therefore "representative of the school's athletic interests," which the organization ruled was a violation of FHSAA Policy 126.96.36.199.
At an FHSAA appeals committee meeting on Sept. 7, McDaniel was reinstated for Braden River's non-district games only.
While that appeal was open to the public, Thursday's mediation hearing was confidential, with a judge mediating between representatives from both parties. It's also final, meaning an appeal set for Sunday in front of the FHSAA Board of Directors was canceled.
McDaniel, a three-star prospect according to 247Sports, holds offers from numerous NCAA Power 5 conference programs, including the universities of Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio State. He's played in one game so far this season, a 41-31 win against Manatee High in which he had 133 total yards (87 receiving and 46 rushing) and two touchdown catches.
His first game back will be on Sept. 28, a road game against Braden River rival Venice High.