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Appeals Court Ends Krop High’s Hoop Dreams

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Brian Delancy, 19, is fighting for the right for he and his team to compete in this week's playoffs. (Source: CBS4)

Brian Delancy, 19, is fighting for the right for he and his team to compete in this week’s playoffs. (Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBS4) -The championship quest ended Wednesday for the basketball team of Miami’s Krop high school after the Third District court of Appeals ruled the judge who allowed them to enter the playoffs didn’t have the power to make that decision.

The Appeals court ruling erased a decision temporarily setting aside a ruling by the Florida High School Athletic Association which deemed the team ineligible to take part in the playoffs because school officials failed to file the proper paperwork for guard Brian Delancy, a student from the Bahamas.

The appeals court decision also lets stand a FHSAA ruling that every game in which Delancy played should be forfeited because of the paperwork problem, dropping the team’s standing from 20-3 to 1-22. It also means the school could face large fines if the state determines the school knowingly failed to file the necessary paperwork for Delancy.

“This is the second time in the past two weeks an individual tried to go through the local circuit court to circumvent issues regarding FHSAA rules and procedures,” said FHSAA executive director Roger Darling Wednesday in a written statement. “The FHSAA has these rules in place to ensure a fair and level playing field for all student-athletes across the state. The association now expects the principal, athletic director, coaches and student-athletes at Dr. Krop to abide by all rules and procedures regarding the FHSAA.”

The problems started for the school in December, after an anonymous letter raised questions about the right of Delancy to play for the school. A resident of the Bahamas in the country on a student visa, FHSAA rules require the school to notify them of his status.

After of an investigation, the association ruled the school had broken the rules, and said Delancy was not eligible to play. That decision forced the school to forfeit any game in which Delancy played, which meant the Krop team was no longer eligible to take part in the highs school basketball playoffs.

The decision ended up in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, where Judge Spencer Eig heard both sides and issued an order temporarily setting aside the state’s decision, which allowed Krop to play in the playoffs. The team won every game, and was set to play Miami in a quarterfinal game Thursday.

That matchup was scratched Wednesday, after an appeal by the state to the Third District Court of Appeals set aside Eig’s decision, saying the judge had no jurisdiction to make a ruling.

Now, Miami has been declared the winner and will advance to the next round in the regional semi-finals.

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