Appeal denied: Section bars NU’s Hannum from taking field |

Appeal denied: Section bars NU’s Hannum from taking field

Nevada Union student-athlete Cole Hannum was notified Tuesday that he will not be eligible to compete in Miner football games this season, said NU head coach Dave Humphers.

“We found out first thing this morning that the CIF appeal board denied Cole’s appeal,” Humphers said. “While it was devastating, Cole never ceases to amaze me. We had a great workout. He put a smile on his face and went on with his day. Given the circumstances, I just think he’s amazing. Nothing he does is about himself. It is a privilege to coach him and know him.”

A formal announcement was not made to the team.

Hannum was denied eligibility by the Sac-Joaquin Section to play football at Nevada Union after transferring from Marysville High School this summer. Hannum and his father had moved from Loma Rica to Penn Valley.

“Given the circumstances, I just think he’s amazing. Nothing he does is about himself.”

— Dave Humphers,
Miners head coach

He was notified of his ineligibility in early September. On Oct. 9, he filed an appeal, which was denied Tuesday.

The senior running back and linebacker was found to be in violation of California Interscholastic Federation rule 510.E concerning transfers requested under undue influence. Rule 510.E prohibits changing schools to where a former coach has relocated.

In this case, Hannum allegedly followed former Marysville junior varsity coach and current NU coach Brad Sparks, despite Hannum having never played under Sparks directly.

Marysville Principal Gary Cena sent the section a four-page letter concerning both Hannum and Miners teammate Owen Sparks’ transfer, Brad Sparks said. The letter stated that Cena believed the boys were transferring after receiving undue influence. Owen Sparks’ appeal was heard Oct. 18, and he is still awaiting a response.

As a sophomore at Marysville, Hannum rushed for 1,259 yards and nine touchdowns while pulling down 104 tackles as a linebacker. In his junior year, the 6-foot, 2-inch, 225-pound running back tallied 1,827 yards and 16 touchdowns, as well as 105 tackles.

Despite missing his entire senior season, Hannum is a high-level Division I prospect, said Humphers.

“I highly recommend (Hannum) to colleges,” Humphers said. “He is a hidden gold nugget. He’s a high Division I-level player who most likely flies under the recruiting radar because there is no senior film on him.”

Nevada Union has one game left on its regular season schedule, a Nov. 2 clash with Granite Bay.

Hannum could not be reached for comment as of press time.

To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford, call (530) 477-4232 or email

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