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Orr Academy Forfeits Conference Basketball Wins After CPS Violations

By Josh McGhee | February 11, 2015 9:26am
 Orr forfeited all its conference wins after a CPS investigation revealed the team was using an ineligible player.
Orr forfeited all its conference wins after a CPS investigation revealed the team was using an ineligible player.
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Jamie Squire/ Getty Images

CHICAGO — Orr Academy High School's boys basketball team has forfeited all its conference victories after using ineligible players this season, CPS said.

The Spartans, who play in the Red-West Conference, are now 0-10 in conference play. The school at 730 N. Pulaski Road in Humboldt Park is still eligible for the Public League p[layoffs, CPS said in a press release Monday.

"Our Department of Sports and Administration has investigated Orr’s basketball program this season, and has discovered that multiple games were played with an ineligible student," the release said. "At Chicago Public Schools, athletic programs are intended to help students develop a strong work ethic, team-work mentality and leadership skills — but our top priority will always be providing students with high-quality academic instruction."

According to CPS, five of the games were forfeited due to playing an academically ineligible player. Earlier in this season, an Orr player failed to meet residency requirements, costing the team an additional three games, CPS said.

"Our sports leadership took swift and appropriate action to remove the academically ineligible player for the remainder of the season, and ensure that all other players are eligible to compete. We take eligibility compliance very seriously, and we are working with the school’s leadership to address this oversight and prevent it from happening in the future," the press release said.

The academically ineligible player has been suspended for the rest of the season. The student with residency issues returned to the team after CPS's Department of Sports Administration received his transfer paper work. Both players were not named by CPS.

Orr's Head Coach, Louis Adams, was suspended for Saturday's second-round playoff victory over Morgan Park High School as CPS investigated the rest of the squad's eligibility. He is eligible to coach the team's quarterfinal game versus Uplift High School Saturday pending the outcome of the investigation, CPS said.

Adams could not be reached for comment Monday.

CPS has a long-standing policy requiring athletic directors to collect eligibility forms weekly and submit them to CPS, the release said. But a Sun-Times investigation after CPS stripped Curie High School of its 24 victories and city title last year revealed those rules were rarely followed.

CPS ruled seven of Curie's players were ineligible because the correct paperwork was not submitted, but the Sun-Times investigation revealed CPS was missing most of the required paperwork to show any team or player was eligible.

CPS bylaws require eligibility sheets to be on file for each team every game, but only 46 files were available. Last year's 460 scheduled conference games should have yielded 920 of those sheets, the Sun-Times reported.

Beginning this year, CPS established safeguards to ensure athletes are academically eligible allowing regional athletic directors and CPS Sports Administration officials to conduct random check-ins. CPS also instituted mandatory eligibility and ethical training for principals and athletic directors, CPS said.

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