Dan Ross's first school year as Ohio High School Athletic Association commissioner is three-quarters complete.
Plenty of games and events have taken place. Championship trophies have been handed out.
Yet, the possibility of Columbus Africentric forfeiting the Division IV boys title because of an apparent ineligible player has recently grabbed the attention of OHSAA's leader. It's the kind of circumstance that makes the job of commissioner plenty more than shaking hands and passing out trophies and medals.
"You hate to see that situation happen to anybody," Ross said. "You hate it for the school and the community."
An investigation is under way by the Columbus school board to investigate whether Africentric senior guard LaQuawn Perry may have been ineligible because of a possible clerical error. Paperwork for Perry's intra-district transfer from Columbus Brookhaven to Africentric never made it to the OHSAA offices in Columbus. Africentric is a magnet school, and its varsity roster was made up primarily of transfer students from around the Columbus area.
Ross. who served as the guest speaker at the sixth annual Toledo Area Athletic Conference Hall of Fame dinner yesterday at Inverness Club, said such transfers are normal and a procedure is in place to safeguard against potential transfer infractions.
The Nubians, who finished the season at 27-1 by knocking off Cleveland Heights Lutheran 74-66 in the Division IV championship game, were only in their second year of competition.
"There's a paper trail that basically ensures that everybody participates in the right high school," Ross said.
Nevertheless, Ross said a committee made up of school superintendents, athletic directors and coaches has been formed to discuss the present transfer rules. He said the committee is looking at any "perceived" concerns about transfer situations like what has taken place at Cincinnati North College Hill, which won the Division III state title with three standout AAU teammates who transferred into the school from three different states.
The objective of the committee is to make certain that the rules in place help ensure a "level playing field" for all participants based upon school enrollment, which determines the divisions teams compete in.
"They're looking at ways to deal with these issues or better ways to deal with these issues," he said.
USA Today columnist Christine Brennan (Ottawa Hills) and basketball players Lionel Armstead (Emmanuel Baptist) and Denette Kolbe (Danbury) made up the 2005 class inducted into the TAAC Hall of Fame.
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