Alex Mikos had been an announcer for scores of high school basketball and football games and other athletic contests throughout the area for most of the last decade. But what transpired during a Week 10 football game between Dunbar and Belmont last season at Welcome Stadium was a first.
“In my time covering high schools sports I’ve never seen anything quite like that,” reflected Mikos, the news director at WTGR-FM out of Versailles. “It was a very strange situation.”
It took just 16 seconds early in the third quarter for a bizarre sequence of events and plays that ultimately led to one of the harshest penalties in Ohio High School Athletic Association history. Found to have demonstrated a “serious lack of administrative responsibility and institutional control,” all Dayton Public Schools sports teams – boys and girls – have been placed on an immediate three-year probation and the school district has been fined $10,000.
TIMELINE: From Week 10 game to OHSAA ruling
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: From Dunbar/Belmont Week 10 football game
Mikos was contracted by DPS to broadcast all of last season’s City League home football games for DPS-TV, an online video cache of school events that are filmed by Ponitz students. Mikos was the first to publicly announce something looked extremely wrong.
“Dunbar in the last two plays and also the timeout, just not trying whatsoever,” said a bewildered Mikos, who worked alone in the stadium’s press box. “I don’t know if there was an issue in the locker-room. … That is one of the strangest situations.”
Here’s what happened from 9:44 of the third quarter to 9:28:
• Dunbar coach Darran Powell called time out and addressed the entire team on Dunbar’s side of the field.
• Play resumed and the ball was tossed to a Belmont linemen. That resulted in a delay of game penalty on Dunbar.
• On the next play Dunbar rolled the ball on the ground toward the line of scrimmage. Intentional grounding was called and Dunbar penalized. “I don’t know what Dunbar’s doing,” said Mikos.
• Teams went to their sidelines and officials huddled with Powell and Belmont coach Earl White at mid-field.
• Dunbar was missing a lineman, resulting in a delay of game penalty. Dunbar completed a 50-yard pass and play resumed as normal.
“When I tried to figure out what happened after the game I wasn’t able to talk with anybody who would really know,” Mikos said. “I remember it happening and being so confused.”
IT’S HAPPENED BEFORE: 11 times area teams have been busted for violating OHSAA bylaws
Dunbar coaches accused DPS director of athletics Mark Baker of telling them at halftime Dunbar must “throw the game” according to the OHSAA’s bylaws violation release, so both teams would qualify for the playoffs. Also, so DPS wouldn’t have to report an academically ineligible Dunbar player.
Dunbar forfeited both Week 9-10 games for an academically ineligible player and missed the playoffs. Belmont lost in the first round of the postseason.
“From the implications from that game, now as everything has sort of played out, it makes sense,” Mikos said. “It was really, really unfortunate. I think back to the athletes and students and cheerleaders, man, it was just wild.”
5 THINGS TO KNOW: About OHSAA’s decision to fine, put DPS on probation
WHO’S TO BLAME? DPS, OHSAA don’t agree on football fiasco
FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton
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