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Tuesday, September 16, 2003



[ HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS ]



Boys basketball title
taken away from Keaau



The Big Island Interscholastic Federation stripped Keaau High School's 2002-03 boys basketball championship last week, league executive secretary Roy Fujimoto said yesterday.

League officials met and ruled to take the title away after Keaau principal Peg O'Brien reported that one player was academically ineligible.

The school found the infraction during the school's grade checks this fall, O'Brien said. The player was trying out for a fall sport, and a look back showed that his grades were too low at the time of the Cougars' rise to the championship.

League officials ruled to leave the championship vacant instead of giving it to runner-up Waiakea.

"There will be no 2002-03 boys basketball champion," Fujimoto said.

Keaau is in the process of figuring out how the player was cleared to play.

"Coach Tim Lovejoy is naturally upset, and as far as he knew the boy was eligible," O'Brien said. "And the player said he didn't forge anything. So everything is hazy at this point."

She said the school will do its grade checks on a data base in the future to help prevent the same type of thing from happening again.



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