The player in question, sophomore Avery Moore, transferred to Danville from Lincoln in January. But French, who was hired by Lincoln in March, said he wasn't aware of the situation and didn't know Moore.
Danville coach Sam Harp said the school failed to send a transfer request for Moore to Lincoln County that would have then been sent to the KHSAA. Both French and Stonebraker said they emphathized with Danville's predicament.
"You have to follow all the rules, but I'm sure this was just a slip-up on Danville's part," Stonebraker said. "That's a shame on their end."
"You've got rules and regulations, and they're hard to keep up with," French said. "That can happen, and it happens every year.
"It sounds like they just made a mistake, and it's lucky for Danville it didn't affect any district games or the playoffs."
A contrast to the Artose Pinner violation
Stonebraker contrasted the situation with a violation that took place in Hopkinsville in 1997, when running back Artose Pinner, who later played for the University of Kentucky, was declared ineligible after leading Hopkinsville to the Class AAA finals. Hopkinsville had to forfeit all of its wins from that season and vacate its state final appearance, and its record from that season is now recorded as 0-15.
"In situations like this, it does kind of matter who the kid is," Stonebraker said. "With Pinner, it did matter that he was a high-profile guy. But when it's a guy nobody's heard of ... that's a great difference."
Harp said Moore played in no more than six plays in Danville's two games.
Lincoln principal Ty Howard said he was surprised upon learning of the situation Wednesday. He said he was not contacted by anyone from the KHSAA during its investigation.
Howard said he remembers Moore from last year, and he recalled learning of the transfer when he saw Moore at a Lincoln County-at-Danville basketball game in early January.
French said he's sure the penalty won't have any long-term effects on Danville.
"Danville's a good program, and they've got good people running the program," French said. "I'm sure they'll shake this off and go on and win a state championship."