D.C. Public Schools officials have reduced their punishment of Dunbar’s football team, ruling the Crimson Tide must still forfeit its first league game but will be allowed to play in the second game, Dunbar Athletic Director Johnnie Walker said Thursday.

Last Monday, DCPS officials fired Dunbar coach Ashaa Cherry for using three ineligible players and ruled the Crimson Tide must forfeit a second game, Oct. 14 against Cardozo.

A week before, Willie Jackson, interim athletic director of DCPS, ruled the Crimson Tide must forfeit its first DCIAA West game, an Oct. 7 contest against Bell, for its role in a fight in its season opener.

Three academically ineligible players participated in Dunbar’s 22-8 loss to Dunbar-Baltimore in the I-95 Kickoff Classic two weeks ago, according to the DCPS. That game was called with 4 minutes 33 seconds left after a fight broke out following the Crimson Tide’s lone touchdown.

Walker appealed last week’s two-game ruling, hoping that the forfeits would be applied to the first games after the infractions and not the first DCIAA West games. On Thursday, DCPS officials informed Dunbar of the reduction.

“They kind of tied what the coach did to the second game,” Walker said. “So [DCPS officials] believe the kids shouldn’t be punished for that basis.”