Kansas University basketball signee Cliff Alexander’s Chicago Curie High team was stripped of its 24 victories and city championship Friday.
Seven players, who were not named, were deemed academically ineligible following a Chicago Public Schools investigation, the Chicago Sun Times reported. Chicago Public Schools said the players would have been eligible if the proper forms were filed with the CPS office. CPS says Curie is eligible to compete in the state tournament because the Illinois High School Association and CPS have different eligibility requirements.
The IHSA, however, would not confirm that Curie would be allowed to play in the state tournament. A decision could be reached Monday.
“Chicago Public Schools has a proud tradition of athletic competition and sportsmanship, but our No. 1 responsibility to our students is providing them with a solid academic foundation that will serve them the rest of their lives,” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement printed by the Sun Times and Chicago Tribune. “A district investigation into the academic eligibility of members of the Curie varsity basketball team found that a number of the players are academically ineligible to compete and, as a result, their season must be forfeited. As adults, educators and mentors, it is our responsibility to teach our students right from wrong and, unfortunately, the adults let these student-athletes down by failing to do that and comply with CPS policies.”
Alexander is the No. 4-ranked player in the country by Rivals.com and Curie the No. 2 ranked team by USA Today.