With Krop High's Basketball Season Hanging in Balance, Big Turn-Out Expected At Court Hearing

Categories: Sports
Dr. Michael Krop High School's basketball season has been dashed due to a player's eligibility issues, and the school's last-ditch appeal will be hear in court at 2 p.m. today. If this were a Disney movie, this is when the students would burst into impassioned speeches to melt an old judge's heart. This being real life, it's a long shot that Spencer Eig will overturn the Florida High School Athletic Association's decision and let Bryan Delancy's team enter the state playoffs.

Two weeks ago, the FHSAA questioned Bahamian Delancy's immigration status, and demanded papers from the school. When Krop's administrators refused, arguing that public shools are barred from looking into students' immigration status, the FHSAA ruled Delancy was ineligible. Krop-- ranked number one in the state-- was forced to forfeit every win in which Delancy played, scrapping its hopes for the playoffs.

Krop High alumnus and de facto organizer Evan Ross says he expects a "huge turnout" at the court hearing this afternoon as other students show their support.

The Krop High squad is something of an international dream team. Guard Angel Rodriguez came from his native Puerto Rico, where he played on the national team, before this season began, and Trevin Joseph in a Georgia import who won a state championship there last season. The team is coached by Shakey Rodriguez, an old New Times favorite and former Miami High and FIU coach who's caught heat for unscrupulous recruiting in the past.

But the legality of an athletic association demanding to see a kid's immigration paperwork is a tricky issue. The FHSAA has argued that playing basketball is a privilege separate from the right to a public education.

As for Bryan Delancy: Like any proper teenager, he's made his feelings crystal clear on Facebook (where he's changed his name to Bryan Tookoolforskool Delancy):

Update: As expected, the school's appeal was denied at an administrative hearing today. The court date was rescheduled for 3 p.m. tomorrow.

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Evan Ross
Evan Ross

Unfortunately, I have been misquoted in a what is now the second article. The first one had numerous inaccuracies that were corrected after I pointed them out. I will be happy to answer all future questions in writing so that I can assure that I will not be misquoted.

Scott Ross
Scott Ross

You're right, Gus. Context is EXACTLY "what journalists are supposed to do." Problem is, you failed to execute that responsibility, leaving uninformed readers with an uncomfortable and inaccurate impression of both coach and son. Your sense of context and fairness needs a kick in the ass.

The linkage between coach (father) and son should have been clearly stated at your first reference of "Guard Angel Rodriguez," not four lines later, as an unrelated preamble to your archival reference to his father, "former Miami High and FIU coach who's caught heat for unscrupulous recruiting in the past." Context demands that the father-son relationship be associated with the team, not allegations of impropriety which originated when the kid was in nursery school. Your negligence in more clearly making this distinction creates the appearance that Angel is a "dream team" recruit from Puerto Rico and miscast's the son, by unrelated historical inference, as having some role in the alleged sins of the father.

You can certainly do better than that.

With regard to the leak to the FSHAA, I am told that information may be disclosed at today's 2pm hearing. Journalism beckons.

Scott Ross
Scott Ross

Gus . . .

1. Evan Ross, 21, is an alumnus of Krop High, not a student.

2. Your "international dream team" characterization, which conveniently sets-up the linked Shakey Rodriguez reference, fails to clarify that "dream team" guard Angel Rodriguez is also Coach Rodriguez's son, who didn't exactly just get off the boat from his native Puerto Rico.

3. Your story neglects to specifically qualify that paperwork and processing of a student-athlete's related immigration status is neither Coach Rodriguez responsibility or even right to know. Whatever responsibility may lie between affirming the player's qualifying status and the FHSAA's denial thereof lies exclusively with Krop High Principal Matthew Welker and his administrative staff. Nevertheless, I admit, it presents a deliciously convenient opportunity to implicate Coach Rodriguez as a witting conspirator.

To suggestively implicate Coach Rodriguez by playing the impropriety card is tantamount to me suggesting that all journalists covering this story have failed to report this story accurately, objectively and without supporting information, just because you did.

I've seen you do better work. I hope you'll make an effort to be a better journalist in your follow-up coverage of today's hearing.

Better still, there's a much more intriguing, New Times-worthy backstory in tracing the origin, lineage and dateline of the information provided to the FHSAA, which more likely implicates those who most stand to benefit from Krop's disqualification from the state tournament.



I fixed the reference Evan Ross and noted that Angel Rodriguez-- who was nevertheless in Puerto Rico last season-- is the coach's son.

As for Shakey Rodriguez's backstory, providing context is what journalists are supposed to do. That said, I'd love to know more about how the FHSAA got the info.

You can always contact me at gus.garcia-roberts@miaminewtimes.

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