An entire top ranked suburban prep girls’ basketball team and its coach have been suspended over association violations.
The Homewood-Flossmoor High School Girls’ Basketball team and highly regarded head coach Anthony Smith were suspended after an internal investigation and a lawsuit filed by one of it’s current players, the Illinois High School Association announced today.
“The girls’ basketball postseason pairings will not be changed and TF North will receive a forfeit victory in tonight’s Regional Semifinal game,” a statement from the IHSA said.
The team was also stripped of all of its wins from the season.
Under IHSA rules, coaches are not supposed to lure student-athletes to their schools, and school transfers are not supposed to be allowed solely for athletic reasons. There also are restrictions on how much contact coaches can have with players during the offseason.
Four of his starters from last year’s Bolingbrook team transferred to H-F. Two more girls who played on Smith’s elite summer team also moved into the H-F district to don the Vikings’ red-and-white uniforms. Three of the girls who transferred listed the same house in Flossmoor as their new address on paperwork filed with H-F Community High School District 233.
The team’s starting point guard and one starting forward are playing for their fourth high school in four years after a series of transfers.
Smith has denied recruiting players. But an unnamed player who was bumped from the starting lineup by the transfers sued District 233, opening a window to a world in which student-athletes vie for a relatively small number of college scholarships, outside leagues and showcase events can overshadow traditional high school sports programs and parents are willing to spend thousands of dollars and even uproot their families to further their kids’ ambitions.
-Chicago Tribune contributed to this report