Written by Corbett Smith
Madison High could lose basketball title over recruiting scandal
Nearly three months after winning its second straight Class 3A boys basketball title, Madison High School is almost certain to lose at least one of those championships as a result of an internal investigation by the Dallas ISD.
DISD submitted a report Friday to the University Interscholastic League that states that two varsity boys basketball players — Madison power forward Johnathan Turner and Wilmer-Hutchins guard Troy Causey — were ineligible to play for those schools in the 2013-14 season.
Turner and Causey lived together in a southeast Dallas home, outside of their schools’ attendance zones. Turner has been charged with killing Causey on March 24 during a fight, and Causey’s death prompted an investigation on how the players ended up at their respective high schools.
According to the UIL’s constitution, “in the event an ineligible contestant is used in any league game or contest, knowingly or unknowingly, the minimum penalty shall be forfeiture of the game, contest or event.”
The league’s State Executive Committee — composed of superintendents and administrators from across the state — will rule on the infractions, but when the meeting will occur is unclear, UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison said.
Madison won the 3A title on March 8, rallying in the second half to beat Houston Yates, 82-70. It was nearly identical to Madison’s 2013 title, also over Houston Yates.
Turner was on the roster for both the 2013 and 2014 teams. This season, he scored 12 points in the final. In 2013, he did not play in the championship game, but he did play seven minutes in a semifinal win over Abilene Cooper.
While the UIL wouldn’t comment directly on the case, Harrison said that several people had contacted the league about the investigation, including DISD.
“This case has been so high-profile because of the very unfortunate circumstances involved,” Harrison said. “It’s got a lot of attention and we’ve heard from lots of folks on this case.”
At the high school level, punishments could range from forfeiture of games, probation for athletic teams or athletic programs, and/or suspension from UIL activities or postseason appearances.
For coaches involved, the punishments could be as minor as a reprimand by the State Executive Committee to a three-year suspension from coaching a UIL activity.
DISD Superintendent Mike Miles said that among those dismissed Friday were coaches who were “knowingly falsifying” residency documents. The State Executive Committee’s punishments for those coaches will likely be more substantial.
“The precedent of the State Executive Committee is that … any time that a coach has been dishonest or in some way has tried to gain a competitive advantage intentionally, they have taken more severe action,” Harrison said.
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN.