COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dayton Dunbar High School was removed from the Ohio High School Athletic Association boys basketball tournament Wednesday after the OHSAA confirmed Dunbar used an ineligible player in a tournament game. By rule, Dunbar will be replaced on the bracket by the most recent team it defeated in the tournament, which is Dayton Thurgood Marshall High School.
The ineligibility stems from a bench-clearing fight on January 10 during a regular-season game between Dunbar and Thurgood Marshall. Seven Dunbar players left the bench during the altercation, but the school failed to suspend the players for two games, which is mandated by national rule. The OHSAA made seven documented attempts to communicate with the school regarding the mandated suspensions. However, the suspensions were not served, resulting in forfeiture and removal from the tournament when one of the ineligible players participated in a tournament game.
Thurgood Marshall players also left the bench during the January 10 fight, but the school properly suspended those players in consultation with school administrators and the district athletic administrator.
“We never want to remove a team from the tournament, but the school’s inability to follow proper procedure and communicate is disturbing,” said Dr. Dan Ross, OHSAA Executive Director. “Sitting out two games for fighting, or leaving the bench during a fight, is a rule that all our coaches and schools know. It’s a rule that we communicate many times each season. We are disappointed that the school could not follow through with our repeated attempts to bring a resolution to this matter in the last seven weeks.”
Dunbar is therefore publicly reprimanded for lack of administrative responsibility and institutional control for failure to properly respond to this issue. Because this occurred while Dayton Public Schools, including Dunbar, are already serving penalties for a previous incident from October 2016, the OHSAA will meet soon with school and district administrators to discuss the matter further.