IHSA investigating 20 schools for possible summer basketball violations

Young coach Tyrone Slaughter disagrees with a call during the 4A state championship game, March 17, 2018. | Allen Cunningham/ For the Sun-Times.

Twenty schools are facing possible punishment from the Illinois High School Association for playing in summer high school basketball shootout events the first weekend of June.

The list of schools that may be in violation of the IHSA’s summer participation rule includes Young, Simeon and Morgan Park as well as Catholic schools Fenwick and Loyola and major suburban powers Evanston and Joliet West.

The IHSA bylaws state that the contact period for high school coaches begins after the last day of classes or the Monday of Week 49 on the IHSA calendar, whichever comes earliest.

That Monday was June 4, so any school that will still in session during the shootouts held at Riverside-Brookfield or Carmel the weekend of June 2-3 may be in violation of the contact rule.

Matt Troha, IHSA Assistant Executive Director, confirmed that the IHSA is following up to see which teams were still in school and that they would have “violated the bylaw if they were.”

Evanston coach Mike Ellis is confident that his team followed the rules. He was well aware of the IHSA’s contact rules for teams that are still in school.

“We knew not to coach during the tournament, not to sit on the bench,” Evanston coach Mike Ellis said. “You just have to be fully aware of the rules in place by the IHSA.”

Troha said he expected the IHSA to make a ruling in late July.

“This is going to be a major fight,” Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. “We aren’t going to just sit there and let them do this.”

Slaughter says he believes the IHSA gave Chicago Public Schools teams permission to play in the event years ago.

“If I remember correctly they gave us approval around ten years ago,” Slaughter said. “There wouldn’t be eight high-level Public League teams playing in the event otherwise.”

It is also up for debate if the coaches actually had “contact.” Simeon coach Robert Smith attended the R-B shootout but he didn’t transport any of his players and wasn’t coaching the team. Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin wasn’t at the event.

The suburban and Catholic League coaches also had varying levels of contact.

“There is an unfair advantage for the suburban schools that get out weeks ahead of us,” Slaughter said “I don’t think any punishment needs to be handed down, I don’t. I think there needs to be a warning and a revision of the rule.”

Teams that were still in school and participated in the Riverside-Brookfield or Carmel shootouts: DePaul Prep, Lincoln Park, Curie, Bogan, Morgan Park, Joliet West, Evanston, Fenwick, Kenwood, Simeon, Uplift, Loyola, Young, King, Johnson, Farragut, Harlan, Prosser, Clark, Bulls Prep.

UPDATE: Five schools originally thought to be under investigation due to being listed as participants at the Carmel shootout did not actually attend the event. They have been removed from the story.

32 comments

  • Sammy

    Word in the city is about 12 years ago the previous CPS Executive Director had an agreement with the previous IHSA Executive Director that allowed play on June 1, due to the length of the CPS school year which is longer in comparison to all districts throughout the state. Sources also say the new IHSA Director and the new CPS Director have not communicated and are not aware of the previous agreement.

  • Clyde The Glide

    Who are we fooling guys??? Whether Ellis sat on the bench or not is moot. He’s no genius. The bottom line is “all” of the schools were playing whether they were out of school or not. The IHSA needs to eliminate that Week 49 stuff and just set a date when schools can officially play whether out of school or not. Stop hating the CPS because they dominate basketball. Look at all other sports and you will find similar things happening before the week 49 rule.

  • LaVar Ball

    Compare the (paraphrased) comments of Ellis versus Slaughter for this article.

    Ellis: We knew the rules and followed them.
    Slaughter: If I remember correctly [which you probably don’t], the IHSA gave us permission in 2008 to play in the RB tournament in 2018. We aren’t going to let them enforce the rules and there will be a major fight over them enforcing their rules. Why don’t they change the rules to what ‘we’ want them to be?

    The rules are there to protect the students from athletic coaches encroaching on their education (and specifically their finals at the end of the year). Can we stop pandering to people who refuse to follow the rules?

    BTW, while MO’B was at it, why didn’t he ask Ellis (who followed the rules) what ‘contact’ does and does not constitute (sitting on the bench, sitting in the stands, talking to the players before/after the game, defining the starters a few days ahead of time, etc.)? That would have helped define which teams were and were not following the rules.

  • Snitcher

    There were even more head coaches coaching at Quest lol

  • […] According to the Chicago Sun-Times and other outlets, the list of schools that may be in violation of the Illinois High School Association’s summer participation rule includes Chicago’s Young, Simeon and Morgan Park as well as Catholic schools Fenwick (Oak Park) and Loyola Academy (Wilmette) and top suburban programs Evanston and Joliet West. […]

  • concerned fan

    threw the cps out of ipsa

  • bobby

    Always play the race card when cheating…..

  • Clyde The Glide

    Here are a few questions I have:
    Why didn’t RB’s organizers eliminate schools who were in question if it’s so well run?
    RB always gets kudos but did they help set these schools up?
    How many teams in the event are state champions from CPS? What district has more?
    Are the teams in violation black? You folks better wake up. This is exactly what it looks like.
    CPS cannot be stopped in basketball on the court, but this is a different way to stop them.
    Let’s keep it real.

    • Wscfantoo

      “Helped set them up?” Sure, those rules are secret rules. Only certain schools got the memo. Probably less certain rules apply to a coach from the private school very close to United Center recruiting a kid in the hallway near the stat sheets. “Hey we’ve got scholarship money available if that would help…”. Like watching a used car salesman.

    • cclalum08

      give me a break man lol

    • cclalum08

      give me a break man lol

  • Wscfantoo

    How about someone ask the Bogan coach why he took his team off the court against a West Suburban Conference team Tuesday night?

  • PistolPete44

    Like this, it is hard to find cheaters unless someone turns them in. Likely this what happened. The IHSA can not possibly look over all schools to see if they cheat. Football cheating actually is more prevalent. Weight training and small group contact going over new schemes and plays happens all summer. Unless there is a tip about coaching contact it will go on and never be caught.

  • Hoop Junkie

    I find it incredibly ironic that the photo used has Chris Head in it since he was the poster child for violating IHSA summer time rules back in the 90’s.

  • Daniel Frymire

    They need to look into southern Illinois schools too! I know that we had shootouts and open gyms down here too! The coaches have been at the so called open gyms and at the shootouts! Eldorado high , and Harrisburg high and a few others have participated!

  • M Moody

    Hey – my son is WHITE and plays for a top CPS team. They can’t use the race argument – recruiting is done every year by the same CPS basketball – just wait until you see/hear what happens this summer with BIG names “transferring.”

  • Van King

    I dont believe its a targeting of African Americans but I will.say the IHSA and other non dominate African American communities are feeling the pressure to compete with powerful basketball programs from the public leagues. People say they “cheat” by recruiting the best kids to come to their programs…I might grant you that…but white suburban, Private and Parochial schools have been robbing the inner cities across the country under the guise of “we’re giving them a better chance and opportunity” since the 70s and it was all good. Now these athletes are finding these same opportunities in their own neighborhoods and dont need to feel that token blackness and are winning state championships and its a problem. Its also about money. Year in and year out these inner city programs are making it down state. Urban schools dont travel well. They rarely large contingencies to games and therefore the IHSA is losing money from admissions concessions hotel accommodations etc. Larger suburban schools and Parochial schools will bring the entire communities alumni and buy all the merchandise and experience the event. Urban schools dont bring that draw to the event. So its not a direct attack on blackness but a more indirect attempt to take the procedural and policy approaches to find violations in the programs. The new Jim Crow approach.

  • reason

    Are you nuts it is not a race thing Slaughter and Irvin have been rule breakers from day one Slaughter went out to Burr Ridge on a Sunday to have an open gym to attempt to steal Hinsdale Souths best player and do we have to talk about Irvin did he not use is AAU crap to get a kid out of Peoria Forever its been said that the catholic league football powers who by the way are white have been labeled as breaking rules that they get kids from everywhere but they DO PLAY within the restrictions have to play up in post season the IHSA should lower the BOOOOM on these repeat offenders and how does these coaches schools allow them to get caught over and over leadership ins the CPS non-existing????

  • TDOGG

    “LOVE” the fact that people actually are pulling out the race card.Yeah, that’s it, the IHSA has nothing better to do than sit around and be ” racist” How about this one Eddie? RULES are in place and since many times the CPS schools are above the law, they just got caught. Maybe they will send a message and not let them participate in the state series. Also, Eddie, there are SEVERAL schools on their who have a majority of white students. It’s really simple. FOLLOW THE RULES

    • Eddie

      Why don’t you re-read my post Einstein. I am not saying it is a racist related investigation. I said it is ridiculous that it becomes a race issue as soon as they are caught breaking the rules! Figure it out.

  • CLR

    Waiting to see how this play out up north. They never give use a break down here in the south in ESL.

  • Dexter Washington

    Is this a new rule change from the year before, not.. rules are written then a committee reviews and votes to enforce them, all coaches are given copies, review, and attend meetings to have a contributing opinion. No one had been blindside, just have to deal with the consequences and more forward.

  • Eddie

    So the IHSA is targeting African Americans? Wow. I thought rules were rules. If they are followed there would not be a problem. When they are broken, it becomes a race issue. It doesn’t get more pathetic than that. Typical of our society today.

    • tsmith

      Rules and Policies can be flawed and biased. That is the point . IHSA lacks cultural competence as it relates to the African-American population and CPS.

  • Skywalker

    As a society, there are more important things we should focus on and monitor. The two-day event is a well-organized and has consistently provide potential college access to student-athletes. It is a great weekend of basketball. It is something we should celebrate.
    However, the IHSA investigation is another sad example of people placing gates/barriers up for African-American boys. I ask: When was the last time the IHSA scrutinized a predominately white male high school sport?

    • Wake up

      Skywalker…you are the root of the problem in our society. To even think that, let alone mention it is pathetic. Has absolutely nothing to do with race.

  • Colleen

    The IHSA school coaches only have a certain number of contacts during the summer to coach them (practice, games, etc.) once school is done up until a certain week prior to August (don’t remember when that is). Chicago Public Schools go almost a whole month longer than most of the other area schools so that would exclude them from a lot of those events. Also, there is nothing to say the kids can’t form a school team themselves and play in tournaments without their coaches prior to the school year being done. If they did that, the coaches don’t violate the ‘contact’ rule with how it’s written right now. I’m guessing the permission to play in the tournament is based on not having their coaches there to coach them. However, it would be interesting to see if they wore school uniforms when they played or not.

  • Grant

    Kind of suspicious that the schools are claim (1) they had permission to play in the tournament but (2) also did not make “contact” at the tournament. If you had permission why not make contact? Also if there are 8 high level public league schools in the tourney just boycott the tourney and make them set the date after week 49 monday.

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