DPS Superintendent vows changes to athletic department after new OHSAA sanctions

Local News

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced sanctions against Dayton Public Schools, stemming from a fight between two DPS schools in January.

The Dunbar High School Boys Basketball Team is ineligible for post-season play for the 2018-19 season. In addition, Dunbar High School will be on probation until 2022. All other DPS schools will be on probation until 2020.

The ruling comes after someone sent new cell phone video evidence to the OHSAA regarding a fight between DPS schools Dunbar and Thurgood Marshall in January.

During that fight, several players were seen on video leaving the bench during the fight. Those players were assessed two-game suspensions. One of those players subsequently played in a varsity tournament game before serving the required two-game suspension.

Due to the use of that ineligible player. the OHSAA removed Dunbar from the state basketball tournament.

Previous video evidence of the fight provided from surveillance cameras inside the gym did not show the player in question participating in the fight. Based on that evidence, DPS filed a motion to have the OHSAA ruling overturned.

A judge reviewed the evidence and sided with DPS, reinstating Dunbar to the state basketball tournament, which removed Thurgood Marshall. Dunbar subsequently beat Bishop Fenwick to advance, before eventually losing to Cincinnati Woodward.

DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli says there will be changes to Athletic Department personnel for the 2018-19 school year, but she would not elaborate on what those changes would be.

Dr. Lolli also apologized to students, players and staff at Thurgood Marshall and Bishop Fenwick High Schools, saying the school system acted on the information it had at the time. Based on the new information, Lolli admits DPS would’ve made a different decision in terms of appealing the OHSAA’s initial removal of Dunbar from the state tournament.

In addition to other sanctions announced Thursday, DPS must also reimburse the OHSAA for the cost of the court proceeding in March.

Dr. Lolli says personnel changes will be announced at a later time.

When asked about Dunbar head coach Chuck Taylor, who testified during the March hearing that he saw the player in question in the locker room, and not participating in the fight, Lolli declined comment on his future with the school.

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