(CBS) After forfeiting its city title and 24 regular-season wins because it used seven ineligible players, the Curie High School boys’ basketball team will be allowed to play in the IHSA state tournament.
The Chicago Public Schools administration stripped Curie of its city title — which it originally won 69-66 in quadruple overtime against Whitney Young on Feb. 21 — on Friday after an investigation found that seven players had been ineligible since the beginning of the season. The investigation started with an anonymous tip on the day of the city championship.
While stripping the title Friday, CPS also said Curie would be allowed to participate in the state tournament because the eligibility standards are different. The CPS has also said that the ineligible players would’ve been eligible throughout the season if proper paperwork had been filled out indicating that there was an individual study program being adhered to.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson criticized the decision to take the city title away from Curie, saying boys are being punished for adult mistakes.
“It appears to be the failure of the principal, the coach at Curie High School and the CPS Sports Administration as they should have known about the status of each team member prior to the students participating in any game,” said Jackson.
Teri Sampson, now a summer league coach and referee, was once a member of the legendary Simeon High School team of the mid-1980s.
Sampson says his coach, Bob Hambric, always knew who was eligible to play and communicated that to his superiors
“He was diligent in terms of talking to the teachers and understanding what’s going on. The teachers would come and report to him when any of his athletes were having any kind of trouble academically, socially, or discipline wise in school,” said Sampson.
The Sun-Times reports via an anonymous source that Condors star center Cliff Alexander is expected to play. It wasn’t previously released who the ineligible players were.
Curie opens postseason play Tuesday night.