CIF panel denies Barry's appeal

State upholds section's ineligibility ruling
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
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LOOMIS — The California Interscholastic Federation denied Monday a Del Oro High transfer’s plea to play basketball for the Golden Eagles this season. Remi Barry, a 6-foot-7 senior and French native, transferred to Del Oro in late August after playing his junior season at Florida’s American Heritage, where he lived in a house he described as having “a social environment of racism.” The Sac-Joaquin Section originally denied Barry eligibility, finding his transfer to be athletically motivated, lacking hardship and in violation of CIF bylaw 510 under “prior contact.” An appeal was filed with the CIF and Barry attended the Jan. 7 hearing in Lodi with Chris and Lori Hendricks and their son Aaron, a junior guard on the Del Oro basketball team. Barry has lived with the Hendricks family since late August while in the United States on an F-1 student visa. Appellants can choose to have their hearing in front of a Single Review Officer or a three-person Appeals Panel, according to a CIF handbook. Will DeBoard, Sac-Joaquin communications director, said panel members are selected from a statewide pool of current and retired administrators, athletic directors and section officers. Panel members can’t have current or former ties to the school districts or leagues involved in an appeal. “They were all related to CIF,” Chris Hendricks said Monday. “They all have ties to the CIF, whether it’s current or past. Impartial is not a word I would use.” Barry was surprised to learn the panel upheld the section’s ruling. “We’re all surprised,” Hendricks said. “You can’t guess what somebody’s thinking but we felt that we had presented a solid case. We produced evidence. We had witnesses. We have lots of documentation and we thought we had solid arguments. There are a lot of hurt people right now.” DeBoard said last week section policy is not to comment when an eligibility decision is appealed to the CIF, but he said late Monday the section hopes to release a statement by Wednesday afternoon. “We’re consulting with counsel right now and looking at our options,” Hendricks said Monday. “We’re meeting with them tomorrow and we’ll see where we go from there, but to say we’re done would be premature. “Time is of the essence,” Hendricks added. “We understand that. We’re talking about an 18-year-old’s senior year playing basketball being held back by a decision that we feel was wrong, that wasn’t validated or researched. We’ll deal with it from there, but as I said we don’t believe we’re done.”