Bird ineligible, Salesian forfeits 16 games

The Salesian High boys basketball team is forfeiting its first 16 wins this season because leading scorer Jabari Bird is ineligible, athletic director Chad Nightingale said Friday afternoon.

Bird — a sophomore ranked 26th in the 2013 recruiting class according to ESPN Rise — transferred last summer from Benicia to Salesian, the top-ranked team in the Bay Area News Group-East Bay poll.
Bird declined to comment Friday. He was averaging 16.9 points per game.
The main reason for Bird’s ineligibility is California Interscholastic Federation Bylaw 510, which stipulates that a student-athlete who transfers has to disclose pre-enrollment contact with anyone associated with that school’s athletic department.
Nightingale said that this summer, Bird joined an AAU team (the Oakland Soldiers) that had a Salesian player. Nightingale declined to name the player. Since Bird enrolled at Salesian on Aug. 18 and the CIF form 207/209/510 that was signed indicated there was no pre-enrollment contact, that’s considered an infraction because pre-enrollment contact includes playing on the same AAU team as another person, Nightingale said.
“That is regardless of whether they even talk about the high school,” Nightingale said. “At no time did (Bird and the player) talk about Salesian athletics (while on the Soldiers) according to the students.
“(Bird’s) dad works close to the school and wanted a private education. He never even spoke to me or any of the coaches (before the transfer). He spoke to our admissions director. He did everything right, but (didn’t) check the right box.”
North Coast Section commissioner Gil Lemmon confirmed that he rescinded the eligibility of Bird on Friday, something that requires the 16 forfeits. Lemmon also said that CIF Bylaw 510 was the main reason for the ineligibility. He had no further comment.
Nightingale said Lemmon e-mailed him Tuesday with concern about an article in the Vallejo Times-Herald on Tuesday that dealt with Bird’s transfer. Nightingale said there was concern by Lemmon over a quote by the Pride’s Freddie Tagaloa that stated, “I told him if he’s looking to play a little, he should cross that bridge and come to Salesian.”
“I have no recollection (of saying that),” Tagaloa said Friday. “I mentioned that education is better across the bridge, so the bridge part was in there.”
Jose San Mateo, the Times-Herald reporter who wrote the story, said Friday that he stands by that quote.
Nightingale said he also received an e-mail Wednesday from Lemmon asking questions about the transfer. Nightingale then conducted an investigation and found that one of the Salesian players had played with Bird on the same AAU team.
“There is something called an administrator’s checklist (for a transfer), you go through a battery of 19 questions,” said Nightingale, who added Salesian plans to appeal the decision. “The idea is, I went through everything and there’s nothing there … I would never in a million years think to ask ‘Did you ever play on a summer team with one of our kids?’ It never crossed my mind.
“The North Coast Section and Gil Lemmon have done their job.”
Salesian (1-17, 1-5 Bay Shore Athletic League after the Pride’s 74-37 win Friday night over Piedmont) still has a chance to reach postseason. If the Pride posts a winning record in the BSAL or wins the league tournament, it can qualify for the NCS playoffs.
“A lot of guys don’t really understand what’s going on and why they’re choosing to come down on him and not other cases,” Salesian coach Bill Mellis said about the team’s reaction. “It’s an interesting case because (Bird’s family) did everything they were supposed to do. The paperwork is kind of misleading a little bit. I think they answered their questions honestly, and we just have to go back and figure things out with an appeal and go from there.”

Staff writer Jimmy Durkin contributed to this report.

Phil Jensen

  • guesswhatteam09′

    guesswhat a jerk??

    haah. what are you? like 6?

    and little boy?? haha. oooo gridironbitch….you just need to calm it down..

    keep blogging because i know its all you have…i wont read your next post because you’re boring me…peace

  • Prep Fan

    I think Mullin’s older brother has already graduated by now, but he was not mentioned as a transfer student. In fact, I think he was just a lacrosse player and didn’t even play hoops or football.

  • GridironMan

    Guesswhatajerk09 oooo looks like you are angry… oooo so tough and nice language… is that all you got?

    6? exactly what I’m responding to guesswhatajerk oh oh wait mommy boy…

    peace? do you even know the meaning?

    keep blogging because i know its all you have? hahahaha is this not YOUR life? Really mommy boy oh wait guesswhatajerk0 looks like you are causing problems on other blogs too

  • EBAL FAN #2

    Prep Fan – Mullin for DLS, 0 points vs Cal High on Tuersday. 0 points vs Monte Vista on Friday night. Hardly an impact or game changer. Good player, maybe stsrt as a senior.

  • renegades10

    It really comes down to what is considered an impact player. I am in agreement with ebal fan #2 that an impact player is someone such as Hollis Thompson who transferred to DLS in the fall of 08. A highly recruited player across the country. Of course he only stayed for one semester before leaving DLS, but that would be considered an impact player. But I think Prep Fan’s point is that Mullin could potentially be starting for SRV this year and could have made the team better overall. So in a way that has an impact on the school he left to go to DLS.

  • Prep Fan

    DLS doesn’t judge players based on points scored. They have to play defense, and they don’t score many points. They held Monte Vista to 4 points in the second half last night? Correct Renegades – Mullin’s transfer impacted both programs. Thompson would be an impact player for any school he transferred into, but there are not many of his talent. Ok, maybe the 2 Jabaris are on that level.

    Of course if you define an impact player as someone who scores at least 20 points a game, then I agree since DLS hasn’t had many 20 point scorers in the past 10 years with or without transfers. They do get the occasional basketball transfer though with Montana, Thompson & Mullin being 3 recent examples.

  • Chs1012

    R10-SnG, ever heard of the entrance exam being taken twice in the same eval period for reasons other than tardiness, untimed due to learning disab., power out, other acts of god, etc.?

  • Chs1012

    A very interesting article by Mitch Stephens in the Chron last week in which NCS commish Lemmon is quoted- roughly here- “I’ve ruled on around 1,000 athletic transfers this academic year alone….it’s probably more.”
    1,000! So not so sure why posters are baggin’ on him when he has no agenda with certain kids other than to hold them, their parents, the recipient schools and the heavy (at least in top flight hoops) outside club influences to a standard that is in place to promote (but not fully enact) equity and an even playing field.

  • renegades10

    Chs, it’s been awhile since I took the test although I do remember they had some stipulation for people with learning disabilities. I actually did take the test twice however, but only because of a stupid rule that if you take the test for a school in one diocese, it will not count for a school in a different diocese. I applied to Saint Ignatius and Sacred Heart Cathedral in the city, but because DLS is in the Oakland diocese they would not accept that test even though it was the exact same one except for the essay question. Not sure if that rule has been changed yet or not.

  • S1lverngreen

    Not aware of that, my boy was a one shot deal, perhaps if someone can show mitigating circumstances, death in the family, illness, etc, the Diocese makes an exception? Not really sure….maybe there is some sort of appeal process or something? Fortunately, we did not have to deal with that.

  • ebal fan #2

    I agree that DLS is not a high scoring team but scoring; whether it is 2,4,6,9 points a game reflects time on the court. If you score zero points in two league games, not on the court very much and limited (no) impact. Thompson was in and out of DLS before he played, Montana was not a starter. No impact from a transfer as a starter – ever.

    The Salesian decision was reversed, maybe this thread can get back to Salesian, not DLS

  • THEanonymous

    Wow. Who saw that coming? (sarcasm)

    I’m pretty sure they’ll restore the sixteen wins too. And even though this is still a legal issue at hand, civil courts continue to be behind? Now the BSAL is going to need to keep dragging their feet as will NCS division 4, and even if the decision is reversed, championship crowns end up likely going to the wrong teams….

    It figures though, basketball is a cruel sport imo, where adversity thrives to keep the worst teams out of the equation. Survival of the fittest.

    (And don’t think that we of this thread have forgotten DLS. Even if the big guys are not scoring a whole lot, somehow, someway, they are contributing to the success, for how else can a team be league champions or what not for a gazillion years in a row?)

  • Prep Fan

    I was just responding to a post that I found to be incorrect. If you want to act like no one ever transfers to DLS after their freshman year then you can keep your blinders on. I’m sure Thompson had every intention of playing at DLS when he transferred, that is until he discovered that Allocco works those boys harder than most college teams and doesn’t allow them to just run up and down the floor shooting at will.

  • Albert Peters

    The simple truth about private high schools of any kind and public high schools is simply, attendance. Provate schools have no boundaries and can recruit from anywhere they want. They have the backing of private donors as well as deep pocket bosters. Public high schools can only accept students that reside within the schools attendance boundaries. Money is tight and controlled by the school district not the coaches and boosters. Publich high schools are required to accpet anyone that lives within the schools boundary. Private schools, well…