The boys basketball team at state-ranked Dr. Krop (Miami)
has a 20-3
record, but its most important victory so far this season was registered
Wednesday in a Miami-Dade County courtroom, not on the basketball
It's been an emotional roller-coaster ride for Krop
players the past couple of days, but there was jubilation when Circuit
Court Judge Spencer Eig granted a temporary injunction Wednesday that
overrides a controversial ruling only 24 hours earlier by the Florida
High School Athletics Association that stripped the Lightning of 19 wins
because of a snafu involving paperwork.
Judge Eig's ruling
reinstates Krop, the No. 1-ranked team in the state's Class 6A state
poll, for the district playoffs this weekend, keeping alive the
Lightning's hopes of winning a state title.
Read national basketball editor Jason Hickman's story
At the center of
the controversy is Krop's best player, Bahamian national Bryan Delancy
, who is a student at Krop on a student visa. The FHSAA, the state's
governing body of interscholastic sports, ruled at a hearing Tuesday
that the school did not submit the paperwork required of international
students after Delancy transferred to Krop for his senior year.
rules state that foreign-exchange students and students who come to the
United States on a student visa must file paperwork to be eligible to
play sports. The FHSAA asks its members to self-police themselves and
self-report any possible violations. Officials at Krop received a call
from another school last month questioning Delancy's eligibility, and
the school administration informed the FHSAA immediately.
think it would be fundamentally unfair not to let these kids play
basketball," Eig said before announcing his ruling Wednesday.
Miami Herald reported that Delancy, 19, was "too nervous" to sit in the
courtroom during the hearing. The Herald reported that attorneys for
Delancy and Krop argued that state law, as well as the school's policy,
prevents school staff from asking students about their immigration
status and that FHSAA basically overreacted to what amounts to a
Three years ago, Delancy applied for a
student visa and came to Miami to live with an aunt and uncle, according
to the Herald. He played at Choice Academy in Miami last year but
transferred to Krop for his senior year and averaged about 20 points and
10 rebounds a game. However, he never completed the required paperwork
upon transferring to Krop, a violation of an FHSAA rule that was upheld
at a hearing Tuesday.
Wednesday's court ruling reinstates
Krop into the playoffs, but there's still a possibility that the FHSAA
could continue to investigate the issue and possibly file an appeal of
Eig's ruling. For now, though, Krop's dream of a state title has been