A California high school uses fraudulent documents to recruit basketball players for their team
There have been many violations of CIF rules that have been investigated about the Riverside Poly High boys’ basketball program. The investigation was received by the CIF Southern Section office in December. Recruiting players using fraudulent documents is a serious offence and can result in the team being disqualified from any further competition.
Dodson Comes Clean
According to an executive summary, former head coach Yancy Dodson came clean, admitting that, since at least 2018, he as well as several other members of the local basketball community has taken part in a scandalous scheme that rocked the sports in California.
The scheme was to submit fake documents to the district to get residency within the boundaries at Poly. Dodson was contacted when players expressed interest in attending Poly, and Dodson would then work with parents and others to create fake documents.
Poly Principal and Athletic Director Escape Accusations
There was no reliable evidence to suggest that Poly Principal Darel Hansen or Athletic Director Jim Vaughn also took part in the scheme.
The report alleges that others involved were then-assistant coach Joe Wrinkle and community members Lamont Butler Sr. and DeShaun Thomas.
The documents included false lease agreements to establish this residency within the district of the school. Nearly all of them had the same typo. These fake documents were used for 4 years to ‘register’ ineligible athletes to play at Riverside’s Poly High School.
Basketball Program On Probation
It was announced on February 1 that Poly’s varsity basketball program had been put on probation
As far as eligibility rules for student transfers are concerned, the report states that Dodon didn’t believe that his actions had gone against CIF eligibility rules. Students outside the school’s boundaries are only accepted if there is space available.
At this particular time, Poly was at capacity and only admitting students who lived within the boundaries of the school. The purpose of the fake documents was to make it appear that students living outside Poly’s boundaries did reside in areas that made them eligible to play on its basketball team.
CIF’s action was a blow to what has been described as a successful Poly basketball program. They have enjoyed success over the past three decades. Ironically, their strongest California basketball seasons came during the time Dodson was head coach throughout 16 seasons. Throughout the 2021–22 season, Poly was among the state’s top-ranked teams.
Sportsmanship and Honesty
All is not lost, though. District officials stated on February 1, saying that they had taken steps to notify CIF of the allegations. At the Feb. 2 school board meeting, Renee Hill, the Riverside Unified School District superintendent, said that they are committed to principles of victory with honour.
They believed that the school and its leaders could learn from this experience and ensure that, going into the future, all coaches, student-athletes, and parents would be encouraged to act with sportsmanship and honesty. Dodson is still listed on Poly’s website as a teacher.