LODI – The Sheldon High boys basketball program has been found to have committed multiple CIF bylaw violations over the last school year.
It is the section’s determination following receipt of an investigative report from the Elk Grove Unified School District that there were several instances of undue influence in trying to persuade current high school players to transfer to Sheldon as well as incoming middle school basketball players to enroll at Sheldon High.
These violations include, but are not limited to: Providing a free ticket to postseason events, parents paying for meals for potential future players, holding “open gym” practices at Sheldon with players who were not currently enrolled at Sheldon (while this is not a section violation, it becomes a violation when those players subsequently transferred to Sheldon) and non-Sheldon students playing in summer tournaments for a team representing itself as Sheldon High.
There were also instances of fraudulent information provided by incoming transfers that, by CIF rule, would cause those students to be determined ineligible.
The section commends the Elk Grove Unified School District for acting as soon as it heard about these violations. But there are still consequences when a school or district self-reports bylaw infractions.
After reviewing the investigation, the Section’s decision is as follows:
• Five current Sheldon players have been declared ineligible, effective immediately. One of those players, who has yet to be cleared for this season, will be eligible at the start of next season. The remaining four will be ineligible for one calendar year, until January 27, 2015. In addition, a middle school student, currently in the eighth grade, will not be eligible to compete at Sheldon for two years, until the 2016-17 school year. He is eligible to compete at any other high school when he is a freshman for the 2014-15 school year. This does not include two current senior transfers who were previously deemed ineligible and are now going through the state appeal process.
• The Sheldon boys basketball program is ineligible for the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason for the 2013-14 school year.
• The Sheldon boys basketball schedule will be reduced from 27 to 24 games for the 2014-2015 and the 2015-2016 school years.
• The Sheldon High School men’s basketball program will be allowed to compete in no more than one tournament during the 2014-2015 and the 2015-2016 school years. The tournament may be up to a total of four games and does not include the CIF post-season tournament.
• All AAU practices held on the Sheldon High School campus must be logged on an attendance sheet with the names of the attendees on the sheet. The attendance sheets must be signed off by a Sheldon administrator on a daily basis and forwarded to the EGUSD Athletic Director on the 15th and the 30th of each month that such activities are taking place.
• The Sheldon boys basketball program will be on probation for the remainder of the current school year, the 2014-2015 school year, and the 2015-2016 school year. Any violations of CIF Bylaws that occur during this timeline may cause further severe sanctions to the Sheldon High School men’s basketball program.
• Sheldon’s administration and coaches will undergo continuing education in conjunction with the section staff concerning CIF bylaws.
The Sheldon boys basketball team had previously won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I championship four years in a row (2010-2013). So far this season the Huskies are just 5-13 overall.
The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section oversees high school athletics for 197 schools and 225,000 students. Its geographic boundaries stretch from Merced in the south, Grass Valley in the North, Napa to the west and the Nevada state line to the east. The Section is the second largest of California’s 10 athletic sections.