Girls basketball: Rich Central forfeits bulk of its wins over ineligible player
By Tony Baranek email@example.com February 3, 2012 5:48PM
Rich Central coach Bryan Craig watches his team in action last year. | File photo
Updated: March 6, 2012 8:19AM
Rich Central’s girls basketball team has forfeited the majority of its regular-season games after letting a transfer suit up before receiving clearance to do so.
The ruling was announced Friday by IHSA executive director Marty Hickman.
“We’re requiring them to forfeit all the games she played in,” Hickman said.
The ineligible player, senior Ashley Blohm-Bivins, had transferred to Rich Central from Glenbard South. The 6-foot center attended Rich Central as a freshman and sophomore, playing on the lower levels.
Hickman said the problem involved a concurrence form the IHSA requires the two schools to complete in all transfer cases before a student participates in an athletic event.
“(Rich Central) didn’t do the concurrence form until the 30th of January, and when they did do the concurrence form Glenbard South objected to her eligibility and said that she was academically ineligible,” Hickman said.
“Not doing the concurrence form until the 30th of January, to be honest, is just really negligent. That concurrence form is a critical part of this whole (transfer) process. Our rules specifically state that it has to be done before a kid participates.”
Blohm-Bivins played in her final game for Rich Central on Jan. 19, scoring two points in a 54-48 overtime loss to Rich South. The loss dropped the Olympians to 18-5 overall and into a tie for first place in the Southland with Rich South at 6-1.
Rich Central since has won three league contests and split two nonconference games, leaving the Olympians at 22-6. With Hickman’s ruling, Central’s record could fall as low as 4-24, 3-7.
“The school will be asked to submit a participation report of any games she entered,” IHSA assistant executive director Matt Troha said. “We trust they will submit accurately.”
The Olympians retain their No. 3 seed in the Hillcrest Class 3A Sectional. Regional play begins Feb. 13.
Along with the forfeits in conference play, Rich Central also stands to lose its third-place finish at the Hillcrest Holiday Classic.
Central coach Bryan Craig was stunned at hearing the news.
“Wow, it’s almost unbelievable,” Craig said. “I guess we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. Our athletic director (Don Parker) didn’t submit the (concurrence forms). We had three transfers, but I guess he submitted for two and didn’t submit for her.
“I didn’t know anything about this until a few days before the Rich East game (Jan. 30). It’s all a shock to me. Of course we’re all thinking 22-6. That’s a great season. And to hear this, that’s a bit much.”
Neither Parker nor his secretary returned phone calls Friday.
Craig said he expects center and leading scorer Chaz Duson to be back on the roster for the state playoffs. Duson has not played since Jan. 19 because of an academic ineligibility.
“I guess we’ve just got to move forward from here,” Craig said. “It’s a horrible situation, but I guess I don’t have a choice.”
Rich Central’s forfeits will leave Rich South as the Southland champ.
“That’s nice,” Stars coach Brian Mays said. “Maybe it’ll take a little pressure off us for our last game (Thursday against Crete-Monee).”