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."
Prep Rally has been covering the Prime Prep story since the school's opening back in March, and let's just say the most positive story to come out of this entire situation was Sanders' initial announcement that he was funding a free charter school.
From the decision to name the school's mascot "Winning" to Prime Prep's inability to field enough eligible players for competition in District 11-3A, the entire Prime Prep saga has been a running joke for the past nine months.
To be quite honest, the decision to leave the UIL was the right one. The UIL had likely grown tired of Prime Prep's antics over the past year. And with the academy no longer part of the equation, Prime Prep is free to field a Dream Team and take on any school in the country. In the long run, it seems like a win-win for both sides.
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