WATCH: DPS Basketball brawl at center of OHSAA lawsuit

Dunbar JV coach, school AD issued reprimands by Dayton schools chief

Dayton Public Schools has reprimanded two employees for failing to manage the aftermath of a Jan. 10 basketball brawl, according to documents obtained by this news organization.

Both Quiona Boffman, athletic director for Dunbar High School, and Donnovan Brown, Dunbar’s junior varsity basketball coach, were issued written reprimands on Friday.

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A week earlier, districtwide athletic director Mark Baker and Dunbar Principal Crystal Phillips were put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the same issue.

On Jan. 10, with four seconds left in the Dunbar vs. Thurgood junior varsity boys basketball game, a hard foul led to an on-court brawl in which players joined in from the benches, and students and fans rushed the court from the stands.

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Leaving the team bench during a fight — or even a tense moment that could lead to a fight — is a violation of national and Ohio High School Athletic Association rules, triggering a flagrant foul, ejection, and two-game suspension for any player who does so.

Dunbar officials confirmed in court testimony last week that they did not suspend any of those players, meaning they appeared in JV games all through January and February as ineligible players. Acting DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli confirmed this week that Dunbar will have to forfeit all junior varsity wins during that period.

Brown’s reprimand

Lolli’s letter to Brown says he “failed to hold students that left the bench accountable” and points out that his job duties include the responsibility to follow OHSAA rules. The letter said Brown’s action constituted a serious violation of school board policy.

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The letter instructs him to stay in full communication with DPS and OHSAA staff “to ensure that all rules have been followed exactly and completely,” and says that “failure to comply will result in greater discipline.”

Boffman’s reprimand

Lolli’s letter to Boffman makes exactly the same points, but adds that Boffman “failed to respond to OHSAA in an adequate and timely manner, while also not properly keeping administration notified about any concerns.”

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The letter says Boffman attended a required training session last fall that outlined OHSAA and national federation rules, calling it an essential duty of her job “to know and implement fully” OHSAA and DPS policies.

Player fallout

Since the players who left the bench never served a suspension this year, under OHSAA rules, they will be ineligible to play basketball next year until they have sat out two games.

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