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IHSA investigating 22 schools for possible summer basketball violations

Young coach Tyrone Slaughter disagrees with a call during the 4A state championship game, March 17, 2018. | Allen Cunningham/ For the Sun-Times

Twenty-two schools are facing possible punishment from the Illinois High School Association for playing in summer high school basketball shootout events on the first weekend of June.

The list of schools that might be in violation of the IHSA’s summer participation rule includes Young, Simeon and Morgan Park, as well as Catholic schools Fenwick and Loyola and major suburban powers Evanston and Joliet West.

IHSA bylaws state the contact period for high school coaches begins after the last day of classes or the Monday of Week 49 on the IHSA calendar, whichever comes earliest.

That Monday was June 4, so any school that was still in session and took part in the shootouts held at Riverside-Brookfield and Carmel the weekend of June 2-3 might be in violation of the contact rule.

IHSA assistant executive director Matt Troha confirmed the IHSA is following up to see which teams were still in school at the time and said they would have violated the bylaw if they were.

Evanston coach Mike Ellis said he is confident his team followed the rules. He was well aware of the IHSA’s contact rule for teams that are still in school.

‘‘We knew not to coach during the tournament, not to sit on the bench,’’ Ellis said. ‘‘You just have to be fully aware of the rules in place by the IHSA.’’

Troha said he expected the IHSA to make a ruling in late July.

‘‘This is going to be a major fight,’’ Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. ‘‘We aren’t going to just sit there and let them do this.’’

Slaughter said he thinks the IHSA gave Chicago Public Schools teams permission to play in such events years ago.

‘‘If I remember correctly, they gave us approval around 10 years ago,’’ Slaughter said. ‘‘There wouldn’t be eight high-level Public League teams playing in the [R-B] event otherwise.’’

It is also up for debate whether the coaches actually had ‘‘contact.’’ Simeon coach Robert Smith attended the R-B shootout, but he didn’t transport any of his players and wasn’t coaching the team. Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin wasn’t at the event.

The suburban and Catholic League coaches also had varying levels of contact.

‘‘There is an unfair advantage for the suburban schools that get out weeks ahead of us,’’ Slaughter said ‘‘I don’t think any punishment needs to be handed down. I think there needs to be a warning and a revision of the rule.’’

Teams that were still in school and participated in the R-B or Carmel shootouts are DePaul Prep, Lincoln Park, Curie, Bogan, Morgan Park, Joliet West, Evanston, Fenwick, Kenwood, Simeon, Uplift, Loyola, Young, Ridgewood, King, Johnson, Farragut, Harlan, Prosser, Clark, Speer and Bulls Prep.