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Simmons 'Terminated' From School District : Prep football: Centennial player who hit referee was improperly enrolled and faces uncertain future.

November 01, 1995|JIM HODGES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Kumasi Simmons, the Centennial High football player who lost his athletic eligibility for hitting a referee in an Oct. 20 game at Beverly Hills, has been "terminated" from the Compton Unified School District and faces an uncertain academic future.

Compton officials said Tuesday that Simmons had been improperly enrolled at Centennial. They refused to call the "termination" an expulsion, saying that the improper enrollment means Simmons was never a student at the school.

"After reviewing Simmons' enrollment documents, our investigation found that Kumasi's father--and legal guardian--does not reside at the Compton address listed on the enrollment documents," Harold Cebrun Sr., Compton's school superintendent, said in a statement.

Compton officials said Stephen Simmons was given as Kumasi's father and legal guardian. Kumasi lived with his mother, Linda Randle of Chino Hills, while attending Ayala High for three years, leaving in September to enroll at Centennial, where he was given more of an opportunity to play.

Linda Randle has said since the Oct. 20 incident that she is Kumasi's guardian.

On Tuesday, she referred questions to Simmons' attorney, Leo Terrell, who said, "My understanding is that Lenny [Randle, Linda's husband] and Linda are the legal guardians, and that is why I am representing them and their son. If there is a different legal guardian, then I am not aware of it."

A phone call Tuesday was answered by a person who identified herself as Simmons' niece and said the call was being taken at the Compton address. The niece, who did not give her name, said Stephen Simmons lived there and referred other questions to Terrell.

Simmons, 16, a linebacker and running back, was arrested and charged with simple battery after hitting referee Ken Smotrys after the opening kickoff of the second half of the Centennial-Beverly Hills game. He has since claimed to have been provoked by Smotrys' use of racial epithets, an allegation Smotrys has denied.

Under "open cite" rules, Simmons is to appear before a Beverly Hills police investigator on Nov. 7 to answer the simple battery charge, after which the investigator may choose to counsel and release him; to send him to a probation officer for counseling and release; or to send him to a juvenile court, which could review the charges for possible presentation to the district attorney.

Simmons' academic future is less clear. A B-plus student at Ayala, he probably won't be allowed back into the school under Chino school district rules regarding students expelled from another school.

Al Carr, an official with the district charged with reviewing such cases, said Simmons could attend a continuation school in Chino Hills.

Terrell, who filed a $1-million claim against the city of Beverly Hills, contending the officers who arrested Simmons violated his civil rights, was uncertain about his client's academic future.

"Kumasi is going to be going to a new school," Terrell said. "When and where I do not know at this point."

Times staff writer Eric Shepard contributed to this story.

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