OHSAA: Dunbar out of state basketball tournament over ineligible player; Thurgood Marshall back in

Updated March 01, 2018
  • By Marc Pendleton
  • Staff Writer

UPDATE, 10 a.m., Thursday

The Ohio High School Athletic Association this morning confirmed Dunbar's removal from the state boys basketball tournament for use of an ineligible player in Monday's tournament win over Thurgood Marshall. Thurgood Marshall is back in the tournament and will play Fenwick on Sunday in a Division II sectional final.

The OHSAA said in a release Dunbar failed to properly discipline players after a Jan. 10 game between Dunbar and Thurgood Marshall that featured a bench-clearing brawl. The OHSAA said seven Dunbar players left the bench during the fight, which constitutes an automatic two-game suspension by national rules. The suspensions were not served and OHSAA said it made "seven documented attempts to communicate with the school regarding the mandated suspensions."

Thurgood Marshall players also left the bench in the melee, but those players served suspensions, the OHSAA said.

“We never want to remove a team from the tournament, but the school’s inability to follow proper procedure and communicate is disturbing,” Dr. Dan Ross, OHSAA Executive Director, said in the release. “Sitting out two games for fighting, or leaving the bench during a fight, is a rule that all our coaches and schools know. It’s a rule that we communicate many times each season. We are disappointed that the school could not follow through with our repeated attempts to bring a resolution to this matter in the last seven weeks.”

As a result the OHSAA said it is reprimanding Dunbar for "lack of administrative responsibility and institutional control' for failure to properly respond to the issue. Because DPS already has been fined and is on probation for an incident in October, 2016, the OHSAA says it will meet soon with the school and district administrators to discuss the matter further.

Check back here for updates on this story.

INITIAL REPORT

Thurgood Marshall is back in the boys high school basketball Division II tournament and Dayton City League rival Dunbar is out.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association will announce on Thursday that Dunbar has been bounced from the postseason for using an ineligible player in Monday's Thurgood-Dunbar game. The statewide boys bracket posted on the OHSAA website and the Southwest District Athletic Association already reflect the change.

»RELATED: 5 things to know about the DPS probation

OHSAA comfirmed on Wednesday night that an official letter was sent to Dunbar administrators on Wednesday that confirmed Dunbar had been removed form the tournament. Out-going OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Dan Ross will address Dunbar’s dismissal on Thursday. Ross will retire from that capacity in September and his successor is expected to be named this spring.

»RELATED: Timeline of OHSAA decision to penalize DPS

Thurgood (9-13) will play Fenwick (17-6) in a D-II sectional final at 2 p.m. Sunday at the University of Dayton Arena. Alter (10-14) will play Chaminade Julienne (10-14) in the second game of the doubleheader at 3:30 p.m.

Dunbar had beaten Thurgood 66-54 in a D-II sectional semifinal at Fairmont’s Trent Arena on Monday.

The infraction Dunbar will be cited for stems from a Jan. 10 on-court boys basketball scuffle between Dunbar and Thurgood Marshall. Several members from both teams left the bench area. Leaving the bench constitutes a two-game suspension as required by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

All Thurgood players sat out their two-game suspensions, but only one Dunbar player did so. The OHSAA will rule that any game the other Dunbar players participated in will be forfeited, regular season, tournament or both. Also, those players must eventually serve two-game suspensions to begin next season should they continue to play basketball at Dunbar or anywhere else.

Once all of Dunbar’s forfeits are known, the Wolverines are expected to lose an outright Dayton City League championship and instead Belmont will be crowned the champion.

This is the first season for Chuck Taylor to serve as Dunbar’s boys coach. He landed the position when former Wolverines coach Pete Pullen was not retained after 14 seasons and four D-II state titles.

Dunbar also had a midseason flareup when a Wolverines player hit Taylor in the face late in a game at Belmont in January. That was in retaliation for a verbal exchange Taylor had with the player’s mother. 

The latest infraction comes at the most dire time in Dayton Public Schools athletics history. Last spring the OHSAA placed the entire boys and girls athletic programs - middle school and high school - on three years probation, fined the school district $10,000 and required key administrators to attend additional administration training.

It was believed to be the most severe penalty and affected the most schools in the 100-plus year history of the OHSAA.

The penalty was the result of the final football regular-season game between Dunbar and Belmont in the 2016 season. DPS director of athletics Mark Baker was accused of instructing Dunbar to lose the game. Had that happened, it was hoped both Dunbar and Belmont would qualify for the playoffs. Instead, it caused a catastrophic fallout of forfeits, a resignation, a reshuffling of playoff-qualifying teams and launched an OHSAA investigation.

Dunbar forfeited two games, Belmont advanced to the postseason and the playoff fields of at least three divisions were reshuffled. Also, three other teams that initially qualified for the football postseason were knocked out by the revised computer points.

The OHSAA said it would return a significant amount of the fine to DPS and end the probation after two years if no other infractions occurred. If there were more penalties, OHSAA proposed the option of revoking membership.

Thurgood (9-13) will play Fenwick (17-6) in a D-II sectional final at 2 p.m. Sunday at the University of Dayton Arena

hurgood Marshall is back in the boys high school basketball Division II tournament and Dayton City League rival Dunbar is out.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association will announce on Thursday that Dunbar has been bounced from the postseason for using an ineligible player. The statewide boys bracket posted on the OHSAA website and the Southwest District Athletic Association already reflect the change.

»RELATED: 5 things to know about the DPS probation

OHSAA comfirmed on Wednesday night that an official letter was sent to Dunbar administrators on Wednesday that confirmed Dunbar had been removed form the tournament. Out-going OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Dan Ross will address Dunbar’s dismissal on Thursday. 

»RELATED: Timeline of OHSAA decision to penalize DPS

Thurgood (9-13) will play Fenwick (17-6) in a D-II sectional final at 2 p.m. Sunday at the University of Dayton Arena. Alter (10-14) will play Chaminade Julienne (10-14) in the second game of the doubleheader at 3:30 p.m.

Dunbar had beaten Thurgood 66-54 in a D-II sectional semifinal at Fairmont’s Trent Arena on Monday.

The infraction Dunbar will be cited for stems from a Jan. 10 on-court boys basketball scuffle at Dunbar between the JV teams from Dunbar and visiting Thurgood. Members from both teams left the bench area. Leaving the bench constitutes a two-game suspension as required by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Involved Thurgood players sat out their two-game suspensions, but only one Dunbar player did so. The OHSAA will rule that any game the other Dunbar JV players participated in will be forfeited, regular season, tournament or both. Also, those players must eventually serve two-game suspensions to begin next season should they continue to play basketball at Dunbar or anywhere else.

Once all of Dunbar’s forfeits are known, the Wolverines are expected to lose an outright Dayton City League championship and instead Belmont will be crowned the champion.

This is the first season for Chuck Taylor to serve as Dunbar’s boys coach. He landed the position when former Wolverines coach Pete Pullen was not retained after 14 seasons and four D-II state titles.

The latest infraction comes at the most dire time in Dayton Public Schools athletics history. Last spring the OHSAA placed the entire boys and girls athletic programs - middle school and high school - on three years probation, fined the school district $10,000 and required key administrators to attend additional administration training.

It was believed to be the most severe penalty and affected the most schools in the 100-plus year history of the OHSAA.

The penalty was the result of the final football regular-season game between Dunbar and Belmont in the 2016 season. DPS director of athletics Mark Baker was accused of instructing Dunbar to lose the game. Had that happened, it was hoped both Dunbar and Belmont would qualify for the playoffs. Instead, it caused a catastrophic fallout of forfeits, a resignation, a reshuffling of playoff-qualifying teams and launched an OHSAA investigation.

The OHSAA said it would return a significant amount of the fine to DPS and end the probation after two years if no other infractions occurred. If there were more penalties, OHSAA proposed the option of revoking membership.