Thursday Jan 28 2010
Barry will need court order to play
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
Appeals panel found multiple violations of CIF’s transfer rules
A California Interscholastic Federation Appeals Panel that unanimously denied the athletic eligibility of a Del Oro High transfer earlier this week cited multiple bylaw violations in a six-page decision dated Jan. 18. The panel upheld a Nov. 24 ruling by the Sac-Joaquin Section that has kept Remi Barry, a 6-foot-7 senior transfer and French native, off the court through Del Oro’s first 19 games. Barry and the Hendricks family with which he lives in Loomis, received the verdict on Monday afternoon. The state panel found Barry to be in violation of CIF bylaw 510 under “prior contact.” It ruled his transfer “athletically motivated” and in violation of CIF bylaws 200 and 207, which both govern transfer eligibility. The CIF also ruled that the violations “may not be set aside by a hardship waiver,” which Barry sought after leaving what he called a racist living arrangement at his previous high school in Florida. The violation of bylaw 510 identifies his status as a foreign transfer living in the country on an F-1 student visa rather than as part of an exchange program. “Therefore, Student is subject to the same transfer eligibility rules applicable to domestic pupils set forth in State CIF Bylaws 207 and 208,” the Appeals Panel decision reads. “They produced no evidence beyond hearsay and innuendo,” Chris Hendricks said. “The CIF offered no statements from anyone involved in it. It was purely (Commissioner) Pete Saco’s word. They did not produce any sworn statements, any documents proving the allegations against Remi. We have documented facts. We entered statements under sworn oath. Their bylaws may allow for hearsay to be entered, but it’s wrong and unfair to do that. In its true sense, it is not an appeals process most people would equate with a court of law.” The CIF enhanced its rules for foreign students after a 2001 eye-opener. Two Modesto Christian basketball transfers were deemed to have played their last year of athletic eligibility the season prior, when they led the Crusaders to the CIF State Division I title game. The CIF ruled that the stars, natives of England, should have been enrolled as juniors in 1999 rather than sophomores. A Stanislaus Superior Court Judge denied the players’ motion for a preliminary injunction, rejecting their contention that since “ninth grade” doesn’t exist in English schools, CIF bylaw 202 didn’t apply. Both students landed Division-I scholarships regardless. Prior to the Modesto Christian case, the CIF distinguished little between foreign transfers and foreign exchanges. Barry was subject to stricter bylaws since he is not part of an exchange program. An Appeals Panel determines the CIF’s ultimate stance. One option remains, and CIF State Appeals Coordinator Bob Wallace said it has been executed up to 10 times annually. “They go to court,” Wallace said. “They certainly have that option and some do go to court.” A temporary restraining order may be the only way Barry sees the court in his final high school season. A similar injunction by an Alameda County Superior Court Judge last fall overturned a CIF decision and restored five Placer High football forfeits after a paperwork mix-up resulted in the ineligibility of Dalton Dyer, a foster youth. While the judge in that case ruled that the CIF violated state law and swiftly overturned the organization’s decision, any games Barry could potentially play for Del Oro this winter would likely be forfeited if a court sides with the CIF.