Some schools will go to incredible lengths to beat their crosstown rival. For a nationally ranked girls' basketball team in New York, that apparently meant using an ineligible player to ensure it got a blowout victory.
As the New York Daily News and New York Post reported, Nazareth (N.Y.) High's hoops seasons could be over, after the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens launched an investigation into whether freshman transfer Brittney Jackson was eligible to play in the school's last three games.
As the N.Y. Post noted through a source, the school never cleared Jackson with the CHSAA's Eligibility and Infractions committee. Whether that was done on purpose is unclear; but what is clear for Nazareth is that its season, and program, could be on the verge of going under if the CHSAA finds it guilty.
The penalty for such a violation, by league rules, would be the forfeit of those three games, the remainder of the season — including playoffs — and the dismantling of the program next year or longer.
If the school does indeed suffer for its decision, it'll have crosstown rival Christ the King to thank for bringing the eligibility issue up to the CHSAA. As the New York Daily News reported earlier last week, Christ the King had accused Nazareth of erasing a name from the scorebook prior to their game.
"They're always bringing something up to the league," Nazareth co-coach Lauren Best told the New York Daily News. "That's the Nazareth and the Apache Paschall way."
The bad blood between the two teams stems from Christ the King's decision to cancel the most recent game between the two schools following the death of longtime Nazareth head coach Apache Paschall.
Whether you believe Christ the King is trying to ruin Nazareth's program or not, the real question that needs to be answered is if Nazareth knowingly allowed an eligible player to play for its team. We've seen countless schools try this in the past and get burned, and based on the reports out there, it appears Nazareth could be headed down the same path.
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