What was a magical season for the Belaire boys basketball team took a decidedly negative turn Thursday.
The LHSAA informed the school it had to forfeit 17 games because of two ineligible players. The Bengals were 18-6 overall and 3-1 in District 6-4A and now are 1-23 and 1-3.
Belaire Principal Roy Walker said the school self-reported the violations to the LHSAA late last week and held both players out of a Friday win over Woodlawn.
“Both of these young men came to us from other schools,” Walker said. “Different schools have different policies, and I believe what happened was an honest oversight. We found it, and we were obligated to report it.
Belaire was fined $400 and placed on administrative probation for one year because the players played in excess of the eight semesters allowed under LHSAA rules for four years of high school.
BHS coach Chauncey Moore is required to complete and pass either the LHSAA’s handbook certification course or the National Federation of State High Schools/LHSAA fundamentals of coaching course.
“This is a very difficult situation for our team, but at the end of the day you have to do what is right. Obviously, this hurts our chances to make the playoffs. But the players have rallied around each other and their coaches, and we’ll make the best of it.”
Walker said he is also disappointed for the two senior players, Robert Lewis and Tyrin Allen, who had been contacted by some college recruiters. He said the school will continue to work with the players to achieve their goals.