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IHSA investigating 20 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 schools are facing possible punishment from the Illinois High School Association for playing in summer high school basketball shootout events the first weekend of June.

The list of schools that may 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.

The IHSA bylaws state that 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 will still in session during the shootouts held at Riverside-Brookfield or Carmel the weekend of June 2-3 may be in violation of the contact rule.

Matt Troha, IHSA Assistant Executive Director, confirmed that the IHSA is following up to see which teams were still in school and that they would have “violated the bylaw if they were.”

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

“We knew not to coach during the tournament, not to sit on the bench,” Evanston coach Mike 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 says he believes the IHSA gave Chicago Public Schools teams permission to play in the event years ago.

“If I remember correctly they gave us approval around ten years ago,” Slaughter said. “There wouldn’t be eight high-level Public League teams playing in the event otherwise.”

It is also up for debate if 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 don’t. I think there needs to be a warning and a revision of the rule.”

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

UPDATE: Five schools originally thought to be under investigation due to being listed as participants at the Carmel shootout did not actually attend the event. They have been removed from the story.