NCS returns six Salesian victories

North Coast Section commissioner Gil Lemmon reversed six of Salesian’s 16 forfeit losses Friday.
The wins that were returned to Salesian were games against Inderkum-Sacramento, Miramonte, Redwood-Larkspur, St. Patrick-St. Vincent, Kennedy-Richmond and John Swett. Wins against Jesse Bethel, Pinole Valley and St. Mary’s were not returned.
Salesian’s record is now 14-11 overall and 9-2 in the Bay Shore Athletic League entering Friday’s season-finale against Albany. A win would force a three-way tie for first place with St. Mary’s (18-8, 10-2) and St. Joseph Notre Dame (19-7, 10-2).
Salesian originally forfeited 16 victories for playing with an ineligible player, Jabari Bird. Bird was later reinstated and Salesian appealed nine of the 16 forfeit losses on the basis that it would’ve won those games without Bird.
Forfeit losses to Sacramento and Gridley could not be overturned because the games were not played within the NCS. Salesian did not appeal its forfeit losses to San Marin, Jesuit-Carmichael, Clovis East, Rodriguez-Fairfield and Castro Valley, all games that were relatively close.

Jimmy Durkin

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

  • rkn

    what a travesty.why weren’t the other NCS games counted as wins? Gil Lemmon is a disgrace to youth sports and ruling before a hearing and due process cost Bird 3 games and the team ultimately 10 wins.

    The culprit in this mess was NCS-CIF FORM 510 that was poorly drafted.The arrogance of Lemmon and CIF is disgusting.Hey Gil….why has Newark been given carte blanche treatment over the years? I think there should be an independent investigation on Lemmon and his NCS office for possible corruption.

  • How can the forfeit loss to Inderkum of Sacramento be reversed? Inderkum, Saxcramento and Gridley, is not an NCS school.

  • VeeTee

    if he was reinstated all wins should also be reinstated. It probably had to do with seedings during playoffs for the the wins not reinstated. better record better seeding for those that get to Norcals. It doesn’t matter for Salesian cause no one will beat them anyways.

  • The Inderkum game was at home, thus played under the rulings of the North Coast Section.

    The three games that weren’t reversed were determined to be close enough that Bird playing impacted the games. Games that weren’t played at an NCS school couldn’t be overturned by the NCS, so Gil Lemmon had no option with those. And those other five games Salesian didn’t appeal.

    Gil has properly done his job throughout all of this. Salesian has said so as well. I think there will eventually be changes made to form 510 and hopefully these things won’t crop up in the future.

  • And Bird was cleared to play the rest of the season, it wasn’t that he was declared as having been eligible all season. Basically he was ruled to be eligible from the point that the NCS investigated his transfer. But he was ineligible prior to the NCS’s investigation. That’s why those wins weren’t all restored.

  • c.sparks

    Gil lemmon is a joke.. is there a person people we can talk to abput him getting fired? jimmy?

  • Ballin

    Gil Lemmon – Get rid of him!

  • bsmith

    Totally agree get rid of him all of those wins should be reversed he made the mistake, and why is it that some of these public schools have players from all over and no investigation what a joke i can name two top ten teams that don’t have a local kid on there roster how does that work out Gil

  • Oh boy

    Its not about the record. Salesian went playoff eligible anyway and are about to run every playoff team out of the gym. I dont think they care what gym it is…

    Its about the principle. Telling 15/16 year old kids that they didnt earn those W’s because a kid didnt know which box to check on a “undue influence” form is wrong. Its using semantics against teenagers and Gil Lemmon should be ashamed

  • Prep Fan

    I agree the box and rule are confusing, but the kids that transfer schools and their parents know that is is not automatic that they will be eligible. Especially when transferring from a school that won about 4 games last year to a school who won a recent state championship and are in the running and one of te favorites for another one this season. If my kid wanted to transfer schools and be eligible to play sports, I would make sure to ask a lot of questions before hand and make sure very box was properly filled out, even if I had to get an attorney to review the wording.

    I’m sure in hindsight, the Birds (and all of us) wish they would have taken some more time in filling out the paperwork. What happened here is really too bad and no one is happy about it. Good luck to Salesian in the playoffs, as they have been through a lot this season.

  • Not that Gil needs me to come on here to defend him, but knowing him a bit there are quite a few misconceptions here about him. He does not enjoy forcing teams to forfeits games or ruling a kid ineligible. But it’s his job to enforce the rules of the CIF and that’s what he does. He didn’t create these rules. As you may have read from the notes about a recent CIF teleconference, the CIF is making a push to make school administrations more responsible with the threat of levying fines against schools for misfiled paperwork. That’s where the responsible will land. Hopefully the paperwork wording gets cleared up, but if you guys think Gil takes some great pleasure in ruling these kids ineligible or forcing forfeits, you’re crazy. He doesn’t, but that’s his job.

    As for the argument that there’s other teams with players from all over, I’m sure if Gil knew about those teams he would look into them. As you can see from the Salesian case, all it took was a newspaper article for him to take a look. I talked recently to a certain AD who said he could name teams that had players who, if investigated, might be ruled ineligible. But he said he didn’t want to be the guy to snitch on those teams. I’ll say with confidence that if Gil gets word of something fishy, he’ll look into it. It’s not a favoritism thing. A lot of times it comes down to nobody wanting to say anything and stir something up.

    I might favor Gil a bit because since he’s been the commissioner he’s been somebody that’s been very easy for the media to work with to get information, assistance, whatever. But the one thing I’ll say for certain is that he doesn’t get any pleasure out of forcing kids to sit out.

  • bsmith

    he is supposed to work with the media thats part of what comes with his job and for not knowing about other teams and players from all over its funny that all the coaches and fans know about it and he does not thats a little fishy right there and please don’t respond back like you don;t know who those schools are i know two for a fact and it is no secret

  • Gdog

    If you want to fire someone then fire the only person who didn’t do their job properly in this entire process. The Salesian AD. Not one other party did anything else wrong to include the Bird’s and the Section. The guy flat fell on his face on this one but go ahead and blame the paperwork. Nice lesson for the kids on taking responsibility.

  • john swett

    John Swett is having it’s best season in 20 years. They are now 13 and 12 and their reward is to play Salesian again in the BSAL tournament. The bottom line is John Swett needs to be in the NCS playoffs. They finished the regular season 13 and 12 and whatever happens at Salesian should not count toward their playoff aspirations. The Sac Jaquin section does it with power ratings and now I see why. The old boys club is in full effect. John Swett has a new coach and a new attitude and will be a player for years to come and they are, bar none, one of the top 16 boys teams this year in D4.

  • john swett

    The bottom line is john Swett lost to salesian by 25 the first time they played Salesian. Jabari bird had 10 points and 6 assists as well as many other plays where he kept balls alive. The second time John Swett played Salesian, they were down 3 at half and 7 with 5 minutes to play in the game. To not give John Swett the forfeit win and give the forfeit win to other schools is a joke. Jabari Bird had 25 points the second time Swett played Salesian and without him, Swett beats Salesian. I know it’s hard to believe but if you would have seen the game, you would know it’s true. Swett should be in the d4 playoffs, they are the best public school in D4 this year. The fact that they are in a league with all private schools who recruit is what it is, but Swett should be given the salesian game back as Bird was a huge reason Salesian won that game and he was ineligible.

  • Bsmith,
    Unlike some fans out there, Gil Lemmon doesn’t live and breathe basketball. He’s got all the other sports out there to deal with and he’s not going to be as tuned in to all the inside dealings of basketball like coaches and players might. He’s not out at AAU tournaments and doesn’t track stuff like those who are hard-core high school basketball fans do.

    I’m the same way, to a slightly lesser effect as well. During the winter, boys basketball is my beat coverage. But in the fall my focus is on football and in the spring I turn to baseball and track. I follow the hoops scene closely, but I’m not out at AAU games in the summer or paying much attention to what players are coming from where. Sure, from time to time I hear of situations, but I’m not out digging for that stuff so I don’t know quite all that inside stuff that you might think. I like to focus on what happens on the court and this other stuff I deal with it as it comes up.

  • Dave

    All these people complaing and talking about all the BS that goes on need to step up and report it or shut up. Until people start reporting issues/violations nothing will get done. Salesian is lucky they got any games back. My son played AAU and folks are fully aware of all the recruiting and haggling that goes on all summer with the parents ,kids and coaches. Salesian got caught riding dirty and got what they deserved. This wasn’t the kids fault and that a damn shame. I promise you this isnt the only instance going on there. You have an AD that is questionable and a dean of students that has been involved in AAu for years……figure it out people.

  • people, get over it. If jabari had decided to come your school, would you even be crying right now? probably not. Get over the private school recruiting thing, in my opinion it happens at public and private schools.

  • Dave

    Bbfan2 is on the money. It happens in public more often than you think. And, happened so blatantly in the last two years I do not know how it went uncovered. Not only was there recruiting but exchange of money between coaches took place.

  • ddjohn

    I hope its not true but i heard there could be an investigation coming down on Castro valley in regards to players and where they live and where they are from sounds like bad timing to me

  • bsmith

    Could someone please expand on previous post could be very interesting off season