The governing body for high school sports in Texas has announced that a Dallas school is being stripped of its two Class 3A state basketball titles because of an ineligible player.
The University Interscholastic League announced Friday that the Dallas school district has forfeited the 2013 and 2014 boy's titles won by Madison High School. The runner-up in those title games, Yates High School in Houston, will be named state champions.
Dallas officials also determined that Wilmer-Hutchins High School used an ineligible player and the UIL says the school will forfeit all games in which the student played last season.
Friday's announcement follows the June firings of more than a dozen Dallas coaches and other district employees for falsifying student residency documents in an effort to assemble stronger basketball teams.
Dallas ISD said in a statement: "While the UIL's decision will be disappointing for the players and schools involved, Dallas ISD accepts the ruling. Dallas ISD will use the lessons from this unfortunate situation to ensure our athletics programs uphold the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship."
Dallas ISD issues statement
The Dallas Independent School District issued this statement regarding the UIL's announcement:
After Dallas ISD self-reported the use of ineligible players in two of its boys basketball programs, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) requires that James Madison High School forfeit its 2013 and 2014 UIL boys' basketball state championships, and Wilmer-Hutchins High School forfeit all games played during the entire 2013-2014 boys basketball season.
While the UIL's decision will be disappointing for the players and schools involved, Dallas ISD accepts the ruling. Dallas ISD will use the lessons from this unfortunate situation to ensure our athletics programs uphold the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship.
Our new director of athletics, Gil Garza, brings more than 30 years of coaching and athletics leadership to the district, including an appointment by the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency to the University Interscholastic League State Executive Committee. He and his team are focused on restoring the credibility and strength of Dallas ISD's athletic programs.
WFAA-TV reports on what happened that led to the forfeiture:
Johnathan Turner, 19, was recruited to play on Madison’s last two championship teams, despite the fact that he did not live with his family inside the school’s attendance zone.
Instead, Turner lived in a house in far South Dallas with Troy Causey, 18, who played for another Dallas ISD school, Wilmer Hutchins. Causey, News 8 found, also was recruited and was living away from his family, who lived in the Richardson ISD attendance zone.
In March - weeks after Madison repeated as state champions in Austin - police say that roommates Turner and Causey began arguing over a video game. Causey was beaten to death on the street outside the home, and Turner was charged with manslaughter.
UIL rules forbid players from switching schools for athletics purposes and require student athletes to live within their school’s geographic boundaries.