The Ohio High School Athletic Association dismissed Dunbar from the Division II boys basketball tournament on Wednesday and reinserted Dayton City League rival Thurgood Marshall into the D-II field. It’ll be Thurgood – not Dunbar – that will play Fenwick in a sectional final at 2 p.m. Sunday at UD Arena.
Here’s what we know now:
1. How did this happen? The OHSAA ruled Dunbar played an ineligible player in state-tournament opening game, Monday’s sectional semifinal defeat of Thurgood.
2. Why did that happen? The OHSAA says Dunbar didn’t resolve a required two-game suspension for at least a half-dozen players who were involved in a flare-up during a Jan. 10 JV game at Dunbar against, ironically, Thurgood. The OHSAA says it sent at least seven emails and made additional phone calls to Dayton Public Schools administrators to address the issue. The OHSAA said the last attempt was noon Wednesday. Four hours later and after no response yet again, the OHSAA removed Dunbar from the tourney.
3. What was the DPS response? Acting superintendent Elizabeth Lolli disputed the OHSAA’s decision in a press conference on Thursday night. “(DPS) takes exception to the OHSAA ruling and we are investigating the facts surrounding this incident,” she said.
4. What does that mean? Lolli promised there would be swift action by DPS. Key administrators likely to be questioned are Dunbar athletic director Quiona Boffman, Dunbar principal Crystal Phillips, Dunbar boys basketball coach Chuck Taylor and DPS director of athletics Mark Baker.
Lolli wouldn’t address whether anyone has been placed on administrative leave. “That’s a personnel issue and we don’t discuss personnel,” she said.
5. What’s next? The OHSAA has vowed to huddle with DPS administrators following the conclusion of the boys state tournament. What happens at DPS and Dunbar between now and then - following its investigation - likely will determine the course of action by the OHSAA.
Its middle school and high school boys and girls athletic programs are already on a three-year watch by the OHSAA and the school district has been fined $10,000 for a previous unprecedented violation that happened in the 2016 football season. The OHSAA could decide if the six DPS high schools – Belmont, Dunbar, Meadowdale, Ponitz, Stivers and Thurgood – remain in the association or not.
“There’s a set of rules and regulations set in place for every school in Ohio,” OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Dan Ross said. “We want (DPS) to abide by them just exactly like everyone else does. If you don’t do that there’s a consequence.”