MIAMI (CBS4) – Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School’s basketball team was once ranked number one in the state. Today they are uncertain if they will be allowed to return to the court next season.
The Florida High School Athletic Association wrapped up an investigation and sent the school a letter stating that five of the team’s players were not living where they should with in the district.
“Student (and/or) parents falsified information relative to the student’s residence,” said the association’s letter.
The violation could add up to as much as a quarter of a million dollars in fines and sanctions.
Click here to read the FHSAA’s findings.
“I think it’s unfair for all the money problems that all public schools are going through right now,” said Patrick George, a Krop graduate and former member of last year’s team. “They’re pulling these numbers these crazy numbers out… six digits, it’s unnecessary.”
George said the team has suffered enough. Last year, the FHSAA pulled the plug on their run just two games away from the State Championships. The association said one of the team’s players, Bryan Delancy, did not have the documents to prove he was in the United States legally.
The news crushed the team and its coach, Shakey Rodriguez.
“To have to stand up in front of a group of kids who have worked as hard as they worked and as deserving as they were and had a goal and a dream of winning a state championship and the day before to have to tell them that their season is over,” said Rodriguez.
It was the last straw that pushed Rodriguez to retire as the team’s coach.
“To wipe out someone’s season like that, which is unprecedented,” Rodriguez told CBS4’s Tiffani Helberg. “To me it just took whatever desire I had at that point in time.”
Flash forward six months later and now Krop and the district are dealing with this latest FHSAA investigation and potential mammoth fine.
“Quite frankly we’ve suffered enough,” said Marcos Moran, Assistant Superintendent for School Operations for Miami Dade Schools. “These kids need to move on. The school needs to move on.”
Moran said the district has filed a 100 page appeal to the FHSAA.
Click here to read Dr. Krop’s appeal.
“The school did everything within their power and then some to prove that these students did live within their (boundaries) and indeed should have been playing on the basketball team.”
Rodriguez said he believes FHSAA investigators had their mind made up even before starting to investigate.
“I believe that they knew what they wanted to find and they geared their investigation trying to come up with that,” said Rodriguez.
Now the ball is in the FHSAA’s court to make a decision on Krop’s future. Meanwhile, with the season in limbo, some of the team’s players are considering a transfer.
“If you can’t get the full experience of going to a state championship winning a ring like we would have, its pointless,” said George. “They don’t know if they should leave school or stay at school.”