3A Conference leadership recommends emergency meeting to address Sabino’s violations

Yesterday in my ‘Patterson Perspective’ post, I presented a situation in which Sabino High School girls basketball team had reported that an ineligible player had played all season. The AIA changed the teams 12 wins to forfeitures but that penalty somehow didn’t affect the team’s standings.

Today the Arizona Interscholastic sent an email to every 3A member school to reiterate their stance or lack thereof on how they handle forfeits.

The email read as follows:

Forfeits (while included for standings purposes) are not included in the rankings for either team involved in that contest. For a school to be calculated within the basketball rankings, it only requires that a school have played and recorded a result in two games. Sabino, with the forfeits removed in girls basketball, had competed in four games with four wins, and thus continued to be included in the rankings at that point. Two of those four wins were against quality ranked opponents, which enabled Sabino to stay at No. 1.

Essentially, now with five completed games, all wins, three of which against top-rated competition, the formula continues to keep Sabino at the top.

In response to this letter, I have learned that the 3A Conference Leadership has drafted a formal request to the AIA for an emergency board meeting. Currently the next board meeting isn’t scheduled until February 19th, well into the 3A Girls State Playoffs.

In the request the 3A Conference Leadership stated that to maintain the integrity of the State Playoffs, Sabino should be required to submit their violation to AIA staff, and an Executive Board meeting must take place PRIOR to bracketing of the 2019 Girls’ Basketball State Tournament.

The 3A Conference fears that if Sabino is sanctioned in the February 19th meeting, they would be pulled from the State Playoffs causing a bigger problem.