Sheldon High School’s powerhouse boys basketball program took a hit Tuesday when an appeal was upheld regarding four victories that now officially go down as forfeits.
Sheldon, the defending CIF Open Division Northern California champion and the area’s top program this decade, had to forfeit four Delta League victories when the school learned one of its players competed in a Sunday adult league. The player also sat four games, per Sac-Joaquin Section rules for such a violation.
Sheldon did not appeal the player suspension, agreeing it was a violation, though the player did not understand that. But the school did appeal the forfeited games.
Said Will DeBoard, assistant commissioner of the section, “A Sheldon player participated on an outside organized team for two games, making that player immediately ineligible by our bylaw 600. He then played in four games for Sheldon (Davis, Pleasant Grove, Cosumnes Oaks, Jesuit).
“It was at this point that Sheldon discovered he played in those games and reported the infraction. By our rules, those four games become forfeits and the player in question must sit two times the number of games he played with the outside team.”
Sheldon’s record now goes from 17-6 and 6-1 in the Delta League to 13-10 and 2-5. The Huskies can still qualify for the Division I playoffs, and they expect to receive a high seed if they win out in the regular season, regardless of the adjusted record.
“That’s still a top-two seed,” Franklin coach Ken Manfredi said of Sheldon.
Said Sheldon athletic director Denise Aguilar, “We appealed the games, as he is a starter and a major contributor on and off the floor, and his four-game suspension was already a punishment for the entire team. Having us forfeit an additional four games basically results in an eight-game sanction for the rest of the team that did not violate the bylaw or have any say in the decision to do so.”
Added Sheldon principal Paula Duncan, “We appealed the four forfeits but knew we might lose that appeal. I’m sure (coach) Joey Rollings will use this as motivation.
“This team is still deserving of its ranking and (playoff seeding). We have to be clear with kids that we have to be aware of what games and leagues they’re playing on at any time. There was no intent to deceive on this. The player thought it was OK to play in that other league.”