Written by Corbett Smith
District committee to hold emergency eligibility meeting regarding Prime Prep basketball players
With boys basketball practice beginning in two weeks, the slow dance between the 11-3A District Executive Committee and Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep Academy should quicken Wednesday.
The committee will gather for an emergency meeting, attempting to tackle questions regarding the eligibility of several of the charter school’s boys athletes, including three nationally ranked basketball players who transferred from TAPPS champions Arlington Grace Prep.
To become eligible, the players will have to show residency in the charter’s home attendance zone, identical to Dallas ISD’s borders, and that they did not transfer to Prime Prep for athletic purposes.
The latter will be a key point of controversy, considering that Prime Prep’s basketball coach Ray Forsett was formerly at Grace Prep, having resigning over the summer to take the job at Sanders’ new Oak Cliff school.
Junior Emmanuel Mudiay (offers from Kentucky and Kansas), and seniors Jordan Mickey (LSU pledge) and Karviar Shepherd (TCU pledge) are among the transfers, according to the documents. Prime Prep would be a favorite to win a Class 3A title with those three players.
The UIL’s Previous Athletic Participation Forms, which require two signatures from former administrators and coaches, allow for the school from which an athlete transfers to indicate whether it believes that a student changed for athletic purposes. The Dallas Morning News has confirmed that on four PAPFs regarding Grace Prep players, Grace Prep’s new head of school Dr. Marc Evans and athletic director Richard Reed signed off on the transfers.
This doesn’t mean, however, that the players will be automatically approved.
UIL athletic director Dr. Mark Cousins said last Wednesday that there is precedent where a “clean” PAPF was provided, but both the district and the state executive committee ultimately found the player ineligible.
Both Cousins and UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison also indicated that the UIL’s state board has discretionary power to investigate and initiate proceedings against member schools when the justification presents itself.
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN