Well that didn't take long. Less than a year after Deion Sanders opened Prime Prep (Texas) Academy, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth, with aspirations of winning UIL state titles against the best Class 3A had to offer, the academy announced on Thursday that it was withdrawing from the UIL competition, effectively immediately.
Deion Sanders' Prime Prep Academy won't take part in UIL sanctioned events next season. — AP
According to the Dallas Morning News' Corbett Smith and Matt Wixon, Prime Prep decided it was time to leave the UIL after the association looked into the eligibility of senior basketball star Jordan Mickey, who transferred to Prime Prep Academy from Grace Prep along with former Grace Prep players Emmanuel Mudiay and Karviar Shepherd.
Four players made the move after former Grace Prep coach Ray Forsett left the school to coach Prime Prep. Transfer may be legal in some situations, but the decision to follow Forsett set off alarm bells at UIL headquarters.
Per Wixon's report, Sanders and Prime Prep co-founder D.L. Wallace believed all along that the players could transfer so long as they had a Previous Athletic Participation Form. Of course, transferring from one school to another for athletic purposes isn't permitted by the UIL.
No matter how much Prime Prep wanted to succeed on the court, the mass exodus at Grace Prep ended up putting the academy in the UIL's crosshairs. And when Sanders and Wallace figured out that they wouldn't be able to build a basketball powerhouse overnight, they decided it was in the best interest of the school to pull out of the UIL.
"We were doing a horrible disservice to our young men and women at our school to stay in the UIL and conduct our business with the 11-3A," Wallace told the Dallas Morning News. "Our board felt that it was better for us and the mission of our charter to do this, because it was pretty clear that we weren't going to get a fair shake from the UIL."
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