Updating the Jabari Brown situation — UPDATED 1/20

I’m sure a lot of people are wondering what’s going on with the Jabari Brown situation, so I figured I’d update as best I currently know. For those who don’t know, Brown is a former Salesian star who transferred in the summer to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., and then recently returned home to Oakland and enrolled at Oakland High, playing in two games before being forced to sit out the past two.

I spoke today with the commissioners of the Oakland and North Coast Section. The word from NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon was that he was alerted by multiple parties that the Jabari Brown transfer from Findlay Prep to Oakland High might not have followed all of the CIF bylaws regarding transfers. As a “professional courtesy,” Lemmon said he alerted the Oakland Section. Speaking with Oakland Section commissioner Michael Moore, Sr., he said Brown’s eligibility has been appealed to the CIF and the section is waiting to hear back on his eligibility from CIF Executive Director Marie Ishida. Moore said the section has sent in any and all necessary paperwork regarding the appeal and appeared confident Brown would be declared eligible, saying “We’re confident that young Mr. Brown will be back on the court very soon.” He said the section is expected a decision “soon” from Ishida.

As soon as I hear more on the subject, I’ll post it.


I spoke with the Oakland Section and some final paperwork was faxed today to CIF Executive Director Marie Ishida, who told the section that she would try to get them a decision today. Since Oakland High’s game against Oakland Tech was postponed (see above post), it’s not as urgent to get the decision today, but it should be made by tomorrow at the latest it appears. The paperwork is regarding a “non-athletic hardship,” according to Oakland Section eligibility coordinator Johnny Lorigo,¬†who is confident¬†that Jabari Brown will be cleared.

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • brandon beard

    Man let the young man play! That’s all I have to say. I understand that he has moved around a bit in the last few months but really he deserves to play, legit move is the main issue with me, he moved back home.

  • E_CULB

    Gil once again sticking his nose in something!

  • OAL fan

    LOL. Man, there are some straight haters out there. Who snitched to Lemmon this time? Don’t hate people, just recruit better.

  • Where does getting a high school education come into this picture. CIF should stick to the rules and consider what is best for this student/athlete knowing that they are sending out a big message to others about priorities.

  • peter Rabit

    From NorCal Preps Site Today;

    Re: Jabari Brown Reply

    FROM THE CIF PARENT HANDBOOK ABOUT TRANSFERING Update July 2009 Same Sport At Two Different Schools No student shall be eligible to participate in the same sport at two different schools in the same school year unless the student changed schools as a result of a valid change of residence by the student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver. In the event of a change of schools due to a valid change of residence, a student will be allowed to participate in the same sport at two different schools not to exceed, in total, the maximum number of contests in that sport as established by the Section. (Revised May 2009 Federated Council) taken from http://www.cifstate.org under Eligibility tab judging by what is written here, if Brown parents did not change residence, then Brown is not eligible to play this season, he may be out senior year as well because of failure to file paperwork…


    Boarding School
    A high school student who transfers to or from the status of a full-time resident at a 24-hour boarding school shall be residentially eligible on the first transfer, but all residence requirements shall apply on any subsequent transfer.When transferring from a boarding school a 24-hour boarding school student must have resided in the boarding school for a period of 50 days immediately prior to the transfer. (Revised October 2008 Federated Council)

    Basically the way I read this in order for teh athlete to be eligible he would have had to reside for 50 days prior to transfer. I am sure he was there for 50 days however, if at anytime during the enrollment in NV that Jabari came home to Oakland, he would need to start the 50 days over again. This is also true as a rule for NFHS…

    After reading these two CIF Rules it looks as though he will not be able to play this year unless hegoesback to Salesian and they would have to forfietthe two games he played in. It sucks but it looks bad!

  • Jimmy Durkin

    Until I get a little more information and get a chance to speak with those who reported this to Lemmon, I’m not going to release those names. But they’ll come out eventually.

    Also, regarding the boarding school rule, it appears that Jabari used up his free transfer when he initially left Salesian to go to Findlay Prep. That is considered his first transfer. The return to Oakland is his second boarding school related transfer, so residence requirements must be adhered to, which would require a valid change of residency.

  • If it was my kid, I would want him to be able to play. I am sure he and his parents did their research when he made the decision to come back. On the other hand, ” the haters” have a right to want some fairness. Why have rules if they aren’t enforced. I was really excited to see him go to Findlay and rep the Bay, but we don’t know any of the circumstances surrounding his transfer back, so until I know facts, I say “let him play”.

  • Ballhawk

    Does anyone know if he could have transferred directly from Salesian to OHS, given the “move” facts and circumstances, and not sat out a year? If not, then there should be the answer.

    On the other hand, these are CIF rules. What jurisdiction does the CIF have regarding out of state situations?

    I can’t wait to hear the answer and rationale from above.

  • Jimmy Durkin

    A move direction from Salesian to Oakland High probably would’ve been approved and not met with appeal. There could’ve been a hardship claimed (in relation to paying the tuition at Salesian) and the Oakland Section would’ve likely (definitely) granted it and he would’ve been playing. Where this becomes difficult is that it’s a second transfer and it has led to him playing for two different schools in one year. We’ll just have to wait until the decision comes out. Hopefully I’ll hear something soon.

  • keeping it real

    Whoever complained about jabari, who is an excellent student, and person (I have known him and his parents since his 7th grade summer) will get no glory from it. No matter what Jabari will be NCAA certified and he will go D-1, it may be unpleasant for him now, but he is mature, he knows life is not high school hoop, its about the next level.

  • we’ll never know who was the complainer or if there ever was a complainer. Jabari is a very high profile player. When you are a high profile player your name is constantly out there, maybe someone from the CIF just wanted to make sure they did the right thing. I say let him play and it seems all rules were followed so it shouldn’t be an issue.

  • gowildcats

    the complainer is the coach from skyline, he was scared

  • Wildcat Fan


    Any decsion on Jabari yet? We play Fremont on Friday and we are both undefeated in OAL play….should be a good game, but a great game with him on the floor! 6pm tip….get there early.

  • Jimmy Durkin

    Still waiting Wildcat Fan. I believe the decision should come down today. I think if yesterday’s game hadn’t been postponed, there would’ve been a push to have the decision by then. Hopefully we’ll have it well in advance of tip off. I’m looking forward to that game.

  • B Real

    It’s a shame to see this young man not play because of red tape. Yes there are rules I know, but come on, who would really care if he wasn’t such a talented player? We all know coaches recruit in the high scool ranks, its a hear no evil,speak no evil system. Most of the top teams do it. So when something like this happens its usually an opposing coach doing it out of spitemore than anything, hiding behind the cloak of “doing the right thing.” I and alot of others say Let the kid play!

  • Porque

    I say let the kid play. I’m sure that his parents, coaches, advisors knew what they were doing and a great talent at this level needs to shine. I’d drive 50 + miles to see him if he’s that good. Do any of the posters have any stats from his Salesian year(s)? Plus technically, CIF rules shouln’t apply to out of state transfers. Hey, a lot of kids transfer, a lot, notably, the Montana boys. Let’s just hope Jabari has all his t’s crossed and his i’s dotted!

  • this is ridiculous.are they gonna drag this out until his season’s over? let him play, already

  • Wow, I can see that the transfer deal isn’t an East Coast thing.

    I am a high school fan in the tri-state NY area and high school powers – especially St. Patrick – gets absolute hell over their transfers. The message boards pop off like mad.

    Let ’em play.