Earlier this month, the Ohio High School Athletic Association slapped Dayton Public Schools with what’s possibly the harshest penalty ever in the body’s 110-year history of policing members.
A $10,000 fine and a three-year probation — for all sports, boys and girls, in all six schools — was the punitive fallout of an alleged game-fixing scheme orchestrated by DPS Director of Athletics Mark Baker.
Though it’s believed the recent action against DPS is the first time in the history of the OHSAA that an entire school district was found in violation of OHSAA bylaws, it’s not the first time area athletes, coaches and individual schools have run afoul of rules. Here are 10 other examples.
At least nine area schools had girls basketball players suspended for attending a non-sanctioned practice on Feb. 20, 2015. An estimated 40 to 60 girls of all ages attended the workout at Wilberforce University directed by Terry Toliver. They included players from Beavercreek, Kenton Ridge, Springboro, Fairmont, Xenia, Tecumseh, Covington, Troy Christian and Bellefontaine. It was reported at the time to be the single most flagrant, collateral affect rules violation the OHSAA had handled. The girls all were required to sit out two games.
Because of administrative errors at Dayton Christian, transfer students who wrestled did not sit out the required amount of matches, half of the regular season. OHSAA fined the school $5,000, and required that five contests in which the transfer students participated be forfeited. OHSAA also ordered attendance of the OHSAA New Administrators Workshop the next three years and probation through the 2017-18 school year.
OHSAA found that a brochure marketed by Troy Christian violated a recruiting bylaw. It ruled the Eagles’ athletic program was featured rather than all elements of the school and that mass mailings were sent to individuals that included their names. The school was fined $500.
Trotwood-Madison was ruled by the OHSAA to have used an academically ineligible player against Springfield in the 2013 opener, which the Rams forfeited. Ironically, the Wildcats’ only 2013 win was the eventual forfeit by Trotwood, which reported to the OHSAA its use of an academically ineligible player.
Springfield Shawnee was forced to forfeit five games of the 2013 high school football season after the OHSAA ruled a player ineligible due to a falsified residence. School administrators reported the suspected violation to OHSAA in November 2013 and the penalty was announced in January 2014. The forfeitures were games against Catholic Central, Troy, Carroll, Northwestern and Greenon.
The Mason High School athletic department was fined $2,500 and an assistant baseball coach Curt Bly was suspended from postseason games as well as six in the subsequent year after the team played too many 2012 regular season games.
Thurgood Marshall had a backfield that featured four players who gained 1,000-plus yards each. But Thurgood, then coached by Earl White, forfeited Week 1-3 games for using an ineligible player and missed the D-IV playoffs despite going 10-0 on the field.
A seven-month OHSAA investigation led to alleged recruiting and residency issues at Trotwood-Madison High School. Coach Maurice Douglass was suspended for three weeks of the regular season, and offensive coordinator Jeremy Beckham was removed from the program. The team was placed on two years probation, and two seniors were ruled ineligible for the remainder of the season.
A senior football player who repeated his sophomore year after transferring to Alter High School was ruled ineligible, which cost the Knights the first two games of the season. Despite giving up the two wins, Alter went on to win the 2008 D-IV state title as a No. 6 regional seed. That was the first of consecutive state titles for the Knights.
Middletown was banned from the playoffs for the following two years after self-reporting it had allowed an ineligible player to participate in the playoffs. At that time teams were not removed from the playoffs for such an infraction, a rule the OHSAA has since changed. Jim Place, currently the coach at Ponitz, resigned as the Middies’ coach soon afterward.