February 23, 2010

Park no longer 'undefeated;' team forfeits 10 games

UPDATE, 2/24: Park High School's basketball team is no longer "undefeated." Because of the truancy violations, the team has forfeited 10 games. RUSD issued the following press release today:
The Park High School varsity boys basketball team will forfeit 10 of its 2009-10 regular season games based on the findings of an internal investigation into violations of the Racine Unified School District’s Athletic Code. These violations, related to truancy, resulted in some players being ineligible to participate in some games. Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) rules require teams to forfeit games in which players are found to be ineligible.

Park officials contacted the WIAA and athletic directors at affected schools on Wednesday, Feb. 24. The 10 games are:
  • Nov. 27: West De Pere
  • Dec. 1: Milwaukee Custer
  • Dec. 11: Kenosha Bradford
  • Dec. 15: Racine Horlick
  • Dec. 29: Beloit Memorial
  • Jan. 15: Franklin
  • Jan. 19: Kenosha Tremper
  • Jan. 29: Kenosha Bradford
  • Feb. 2: Racine Horlick
  • Feb. 16: Franklin
As of Feb. 24, Park’s regular season record is 11-10.

All Park High School players will be eligible to participate in the WIAA regional playoffs starting Tuesday, March 2 if they are in compliance with the RUSD Athletic Code.

The internal investigation was started Feb. 17 and conducted by Park H.S. Directing Principal Dan Thielen, Area Superintendent Brian Colbert and Park H.S. Activities Director Jim Kerkvliet. The WIAA was kept informed throughout the investigation and review.
Original Post:

No. 1 ranked Park boys basketball team to forfeit games

The No. 1-ranked Park High School boy's basketball team will forfeit some of its games because some of the team's players broke truancy rules.

The number of games forfeited will be determined Wednesday, according to a statement from Racine Unified. It's unclear how the forfeits will affect Park's hopes of a state championship, though the release said all players will be eligible for the WIAA regional playoffs.

Here's the statement from Unified:
Park High School expects to forfeit some of its 2009-10 varsity boys basketball games as a result of an internal investigation into violations of the Racine Unified School District’s Athletic Code as it relates to truancy. The exact number of games to be forfeited will be announced Wednesday, Feb. 24 following verification of the class attendance records of some team members.

The RUSD’s Athletic Code requires players to have no unexcused absences during the week prior to a game. Games to be forfeited involved players who were later found to be ineligible.

All Park High School players will be eligible to participate in the WIAA regional playoffs starting Tuesday, March 2, assuming they attend classes and comply with the RUSD Athletic Code.

The investigation began last Wednesday, Feb. 17 at the request of Park High School Directing Principal Dan Thielen. The review and investigation was conducted by Thielen, Area Superintendent Brian Colbert and Park H.S. Activities Director Jim Kerkvliet. The WIAA has been informed of the ongoing investigation.


  1. Gotta be honest or else nothing in life matters. This is a great lesson for everyone. This will make you stronger human beings in the end.

  2. Kudos to Dan Thielen for taking action. So many other educators just give a blind eye to such behavior involving student athletes.

  3. I am glad action was taken too. Just wish the record keeping at the time was accurate so this didn't become an issue at this late date. Either way it sounds like justice was served.

  4. Joyce Smith told me it was Dickert's fault and I should blame him for the students. She is so wise...I should take her out for ice cream.

  5. 10:13 = Tool.

  6. Tool ROCKS!!!

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Mr. Angry told me it was the Johnson Family's fault. He is so wise...

  9. I must commend this action. I am a former RUSD teacher. As a teacher I was approached many times by coaches to change grades or take other actions to keep their team members eligible. I would not change the facts. Some times the coaches would go to the administration. If the administrator was a former coach, the administrator would also push me to change the facts. That's how much pressure there is at the high school level to cover these sports team members.

    If you ever wonder why pro sports figures get into trouble, its because many schools dont deal with these issues. The kids think that their off the court/field behavior will be ignored for the sport. It takes alot of courage to take an action like this.

  10. It's because I'm black.

  11. ...It takes alot of courage to take an action like this...

    Courage? It is simply doing one's job. Thielen shouldn't be thought of as some special champion of morality and ethics.

    If a coworker of mine came to me asking that I falsify some quality records or production reports they would be FIRED.

    Once again, those in acadamia are held to different standards - not fired, or exhalted as someone special.

  12. You can put most schools on the list.

  13. I worked in a high school AD office. Ineligible players play ALL the time. My guess is a less winning team got drift of this and put the heat on Park to own up. If they didn't want to suffer the consequences, they would forfeit games. This scenario plays out all the time.

    How long has it been since any athlete has been an honest, respectable role model?

    You are better off watching so-called reality T.V. At least then you know you are being played and lied to.

  14. Maybe the truant kids can get enrolled at Florida A&M - with a 39% graduation rate for their basketball players.

    It's a shame that high schools and colleges take advantage of these kid's physical abilities and allow their intellectual abilities to die.

    The truly smart kids, like Brandon Jennings, will forego stateside college and head overseas to play with true competition- AND get the money that the colleges are stealing from them.

  15. ...that high schools and colleges take advantage of these kid's...

    And these kids probably don't have parents.

    If these kids would read Insider News more often they would become aware of the high value society, especially blacks, puts on a good solid education

  16. How long 'til the first lawsuit gets filed?

  17. Bush and the Johnson's Fault!

  18. Has the Post filed a FOI to determine what staffer blew the whistle?

  19. Great. Forfeit 10 games. Enter the tournament a 2 seed. Play a 0-fer in the first round.

    What did the kids learn?

    Skip class and get a slap on the wrist. Ban them from the tournament. Punish these kids and hopefully future classes will learn. Otherwise they just might attend Florida A & M.

    Also, discover who missed these within administration and punish them as well.

    In the end, the kids decided not to attend class. And in the end, they played knowing they broke the rules. What exactly are these "student athletes" learning?

  20. Most of these kids are going nowhere and taking this away from them means nothing to them or they would have been in school in the first place. People can believe they have learned some "life lesson", but they haven't. Trust me. The real loser here is the whistleblower who will be harrangued for ten years by the various zealots who wrongly think any of this really matters.

  21. Is this part of Dickert's 10 year plan? At least they will have nice, refurbished homes to skip school in.

  22. The TV interviews were amazing last night. The parents and players blamed everyone but themselves. We are truly a society of the perpetual victim.

    If one player had said, "I messed up, I am sorry and learned my lesson", I would have been impressed. I didn't hear any of that just that someone else messed up.

  23. I always bought the argument that high school sports can serve as an attraction to keep kids in school, so they were worth the cost. I don't believe that anymore. High School sports should be eliminated. They're dangerous, warp young people's sense of values, distract from the real reason for school, and apparently foster duplicity as well.

  24. I believe these students should also be suspended for the same number of games that they played in and shouldn't have played in. Now that this is over, I wish someone would look into why St. Cat's had players suspended for only a one game suspension when I heard that it was for an athletic code violation.