Krop High's Female Tennis Squad Also Faced Recruitment Accusations

Categories: Sports

Krop athletic director and tennis coach Michael Kypriss
Lately, catching Michael Krop High's athletic administrators in deceit has been sort of like trying to spot a bad tattoo on South Beach.

In both cases, it's still worth pointing out a doozy.

In this Miami Herald interview with Krop High athletic director Mike Kypriss-- one of three articles in which the Old Dying Abuelita By The Bay has bent over backwards not to credit our reporting-- he denied ever being informed of the need to file immigration paperwork for a foreign student athlete before the disqualification of Bahamian Brian Delancy.

"I've never had to do it in my entire life," he said -- twice.

But last Spring, Kypriss, who is also a tennis coach, was at the center of a dispute over multiple eligibility problems with two female tennis players. One of them, Canadian-born Sonya Latycheva, didn't have her own immigration paperwork filed with the Florida High School Athletic Association. Below, we've embedded an e-mail from the association, which we obtained through a public records request, to several Krop administrators including Kypriss.

The e-mail explains, in no unclear terms, that international students such as Latycheva "require approval from this office prior to participating."

FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing is peeved. "This happened ten months ago," he says of Latycheva's case. "How short is his memory?"

Reached this morning at the school, Kypriss snapped of the two students: "Just so you know, both those girls were cleared to play last year."

The accusations were first made by Michael J. Schlesinger, an attorney and father of two teenage female tennis players. He sent a tip -- well-documented and researched by a private detective -- to the FHSAA notifying them of potential violations he had discovered on Krop's team.

Besides Latycheva's paperwork issue, regular appearances on the professional tennis circuit seemed to violate her amateur status. Latycheva, then a junior and considered one of the best young players in the state, had appeared in five international tournaments in the last few months before the tip and earned $1,478 in cash prizes.

The other student athlete implicated was talented then-15-year-old Cassie Pough. Since 2008, her parents have owned a property in Miramar. But her mother is also listed at an address on Northwest 50th Street in Miami-Dade County.

Neither is anywhere close to Krop High's school zone.

Schlesinger's reason for digging up and exposing the recruiting infractions: He was tired of hearing rumors about Kypriss' dubious methods of building a girls' tennis juggernaut: "I hate cheaters."

But the FHSAA isn't the enforcement titan some people believe it to be. It relies mostly on schools self-reporting their eligibility problems and fixing their own mistakes. Director of eligibility Michael Colby wrote to Schlesinger to lament that while his organization would look into Latycheva's amateur status, the FHSAA could not disqualify a student from playing at a school, even outside her own zone, if she started the year there.

Take it up with the school district, Colby said: "They have more stringent rules."

The FHSAA then sent the e-mail advising Krop and Kypriss about their responsibility to file immigration paperwork.

But after the mess on the basketball team, Roger Dearing tells us that the school's entire athletic department is now under investigation. Kypriss, who's been dogged by his own reputation for recruiting since his days at Killian High in the '90s, might find it increasingly difficult to fib his way out of trouble.


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Has Been
Has Been

Fines don't make up for the fact that eligible, deserving tennis players were denied the experience of participating in regional/state championships as well as being recognized on All County Teams. Fortunately, college coaches place more emphasis on United States Tennis Association events and rankings when considering which players to recruit. Still, they look at how potential recruits perform at the high school level because of the team aspect. I don't blame the other high school player's parent from filing a complaint. Someone needs to stand up for the competitors who play by the rules!


It is my vehement opinion that the blog written by Gus Garcia-Roberts on February 22, 2011 unjustly attacks Athletic Director Michael Kypriss, and is a one-sided barrage of sarcastic insults painting a totally inaccurate picture of Michael Kypriss.

As a parent of two students who have had the honor and privilege of being taught, coached and mentored by Michael Kypriss, I can attest to the fact Michael Kypriss is a gentleman of high morals who acts with integrity and demands it from those around him. He sets high standards for his students and has dedicated his life to ensuring that each student or athlete of his reaches his potential. It is undisputed that when Michael Kypriss became the Athletic Director at Krop, morale and spirit intensified. Coaches, students , athletes and parents rallied around him. He has touched the lives of so many hundreds of student athletes and made a huge difference in their lives. Even in these trying times, with the athletic department faced with enormous budget cuts and large deficits, Kypriss has persevered with vigor to ensure Krop athletes receive a top-notch sports program.

It is a shame that a local paper and blog prefers to throw insults at a true icon in our community, instead of lauding the man for his tireless dedication, love and concern for his students and all that he has sacrificed for the students (and parents) of the local community to whom your blog is addressed.

Instead, why did your article not address the absurdity in the fact that school administration ARE FORBIDDEN from requesting immigration status/papers from a student, but that a coach/athletic director is required to do so.? How is the coach supposed to know in the first place whether the student is foreign born or not? Wouldn’t enquiring be profiling and be seen as discrimination further opening up the coach to a discrimination lawsuit? Where is the logic in this? Shouldn’t the article have addressed the issue from that angle and not attacked the very person who sacrifices so much to ensure ALL students are treated equally and fairly. It is not like any of our public school athletic directors and coaches are being financially rewarded to endure this uncalled for abuse.

Gus Garcia- Roberts should be ashamed of himself - setting out to destroy the repuation of Michael Kypriss who continually strives to better the lives he touches.


Dear Editor-

I am shocked at the article that you have so viciously directed towards Coach Mike Kypriss and KROP High school. It seems suspicious for reasons that I cannot understand, that a witch hunt has taken place, and the scapegoat seems to be our school. Those that are casting the stones should not be doing it from the “Glass house that they reside in” which houses our Public school sports family.

I have known Mike Kypriss for many years, both as a coach and as our schools sports director. His focus and goal has always been THE KIDS. He has taught his students sportsmanship and team work, all values that will take them far in life. It seems shameless that with such a tattered school budget, which targets many of our teams, that individuals would choose to destroy the reputation of an individual who has dedicated his life with the one goal our kids.

Unless everyone wishes to be put under the microscope, I think we need to stop the mud slinging, and start working together as a family of parents, coaches, administrators, teachers and media with the mind set of mending the fences of our rapidly deteriorating Sports Programs and financial support, verses choosing to destroy them. Our Public school family unit needs to band together in our time of financial strife, verses throwing stones.

In the long run the only people who are getting hurt are our kids.


A Concerned Parent


Really, Gus? You take a "tip" from a parent with an axe to grind, who has an obvious agenda, mix it with your spoon-fed crap from Roger "Powertrip" Dearing, with his self-serving, self-righteous quotes, ignore the obvious fact that the FHSAA allowed both of those girls to play, mix in some snarky, smart-ass sarcasm, and you accomplish your goal of character asassination in the guise of "exposing" something that doesn't exist. Or let me put it in your style: "Lately, finding the whole truth in a Gus Garcia-Roberts rant about Krop High, as opposed to innuendo, is about as difficult as finding prostitution ads in the New Times." Sonya Latycheva will be playing college tennis next year, her amatuer status completely intact, despite your assertion to the contrary, and she'll be playing for one of the top teams in the nation, such as Stanford or Florida. She never needed an I-20 form when she was player of the year in the state. She'll tell you she's proud of her assocation with Mike Kypriss, as will pretty much every one of the hundreds of kids he's coached through the years. Why? Because he's all about what's best for the student-athletes, and I know this from the dozens of parents I've spoken to whose kids have played for him. As I've said before, the best programs in every sport, including Krop tennis, don't have to recruit players. Parents will move their kids into the school's district, or buy an apartment in the district, whatever it takes. THIS ISN'T A NEW THING! It's been going on for years. It's not the coach's job or the a-d's job to follow kids home from practice once they're cleared by the registrar. Your slimy insinuation that Kypriss is running a rogue program amounts to a hatchet job of the worst kind. You know, as an employee of the school district, that he's limited in how candid he can be with you or any member of the news media, but you go ahead and make it seem like he's hiding something. You get a comment from him, so in your mind you presented both sides of the story, but in reality, you screwed him big-time. You and your editors should be ashamed of yourselves.

I Am Curious Fellow
I Am Curious Fellow

Just curious ... In the email displayed above, who crossed-out students' names, you or the sender?

Sympathetic Person
Sympathetic Person

Not to say that Kypress is a bad guy, but kids that work so hard and are eligible will never be seen because kids that are recruited come in and reck there chances of even being recognized. Sure you can say that the parent was just mad his kid lost but at least he had the guts to stand up for not just his kid but in turn the rest of the children that have been wrongly deprived of there chance to show there talents anywhere past the district level.

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