FLOSSMOOR (STMW) — A south suburban high school girls basketball team has been disqualified from the state playoffs over bylaw violations, the Illinois High School Association ruled Wednesday.
Homewood-Flossmoor was scheduled to play T. F. North in a game Wednesday night but T.F. North will receive a forfeit victory, the SouthtownStar is reporting.
According to a statement from the IHSA, the violations came to light after the school asked the agency to look over its internal investigation.
H-F will also be required to forfeit all its regular season wins for this season, the statement said.
“Not adhering to these by-laws created a distinct advantage for the Homewood-Flossmoor girls’ basketball program,” IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman said in a statement.
“The school has admitted to violating IHSA By-laws 2.090 and 3.107. In fairness to the teams in the tournament who abided by IHSA rules, removing Homewood-Flossmoor from competition was the most equitable decision.”
The investigation was prompted by a lawsuit filed in January that challenged the transfer of four of head coach Tony Smith’s former players from Bolingbrook.
Four of the six transfers are from Bolingbrook: Amarah Coleman, Destiny Harris, Kristen Moore and Lexi Smith. The other two were from Marist (Bria Stallworth) and Plainfield East (Faith Suggs).
The IHSA not only conducted an investigation of the team and Smith, but H-F did its own as well.
Hickman had said he went to the school earlier last week and spoke with Smith and H-F administrators.
“They have been great,” Hickman said.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Gregory Mitchell, did not return phone calls Wednesday seeking comment.
The IHSA had cleared the transfers before the season and declared them eligible. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Hickman said the players’ former schools also signed off on the transfers.
At Bolingbrook, Smith’s teams won four state championships, including three in a row from 200-11. The Raiders also won two state runner-up trophies under Smith in 2007 and 2008.
Before Smith’s first title was in 2006, the Raiders had only gone as far as the regionals in the state tournament.
Smith also produced two high-profile Division I players who went on to play college basketball at the most storied programs in the sport’s history. Morgan Tuck went on to play at Connecticut and Ariel Massengale is at Tennessee.
Smith, himself a Bolingbrook graduate, left the school at the end of the 2012-13 girls basketball season and took the head coaching job at H-F. Smith last won a state title in 2011, but the Raiders did not advance to the Final Four in 2012 or 2013.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)