Cliff Alexander has accomplished a lot this season: signing a national letter of intent to the Kansas Jayhawks, a berth in the McDonald’s All-American game, being the best player on the #2 high school basketball team in the nation, earning a top 5 overall recruit ranking, replacing Eric Gordon as the public enemy #1 in Illini basketball nation (well earned with that hat switching “joke” on national signing day), defeating the #1 recruit in the nation, Duke bound Jahlil Okafor and Whitney Young for the Chicago Public League title.
Ok, scratch that last one.
Alexander’s Curie High (Chicago, IL) will be stripped of each and every victory this basketball season.
Seven players were ruled academically ineligible. Since the start of the season.
None of them have been named publicly as of yet. But we’ll find out if Cliff Alexander is one of them or not when the Curie Condors take the court next. Yes, by Illinois High School Association rules, Curie is still eligible to continue on in the playoffs. Although that could change if IHSA rules against them before the postseason begins on Monday. So if they play, and we see Cliff Alexander in street clothes on the bench, we’ll know.
The problem, Chicago Public Schools say, is that individual study papers for each student, which would have allowed them to play, were not filed by administrators at Curie. Effective immediately, Curie head coach Michael Oliver has been suspended from coaching for a period to be determined by CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett.
Maybe Curie’s season forfeiture is karmic retribution for charging their own students money to attend Cliff Alexander’s college announcement…has anyone made a “hat switching” joke yet on social media? The punchline is right there for the taking.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBC, CBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks