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Ineligible Player Forces Playoff Forfeit by Fairfax High

Prep basketball: Senior reserve violates rule by playing in adult league, so Manual Arts advances.

February 28, 1997|ERIC SHEPARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Fairfax High boys' basketball team was disqualified from the City Section playoffs Thursday for using an ineligible player. The infraction was reported by Manual Arts, the school Fairfax eliminated in the quarterfinals Wednesday night.

Moments after Wednesday night's game, Fairfax Principal Carol Truscott said her counterpart at Manual Arts, Wendell Greer Jr., shook her hand and told her he would call her in the morning to discuss a possible rules violation.

"I pressed him on the matter and he gave me the player's name and the problem and said he would be calling the CIF in the morning," Truscott said. "I passed the information along to my coach."

Indeed, Greer called Barbara Fiege, the City Section commissioner, Thursday morning to report the possible violation.

After talking with Truscott and Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani, Fiege confirmed that senior reserve Dameon Toliver had competed in an adult league last Sunday at Manual Arts. The CIF prohibits players from participating in outside competition during their season of sport.

"It would appear there was some prior knowledge of this incident, but it wasn't reported until after the game," Fiege said.

Kitani admitted that Toliver had played in an outside league earlier in the season and was told by the coaching staff that such competition wasn't allowed.

"If I had known about the latest incident, certainly I wouldn't have put our whole team in jeopardy," Kitani said. "All of the kids are aware of the rule. You can't watch their every move."

Greer wasn't available for comment.

Manual Arts (19-7) will play Crenshaw (21-3) in the Division 4-A semifinals Saturday night at 6 at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

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