Friday, February 28, 2014

Cliff Alexander’s Chicago Curie High team forfeits all victories

Squad may be allowed to compete in Illinois state tournament


Kansas University basketball signee Cliff Alexander’s Chicago Curie High team was stripped of its 24 victories and city championship Friday.

Seven players, who were not named, were deemed academically ineligible following a Chicago Public Schools investigation, the Chicago Sun Times reported. Chicago Public Schools said the players would have been eligible if the proper forms were filed with the CPS office. CPS says Curie is eligible to compete in the state tournament because the Illinois High School Association and CPS have different eligibility requirements.

The IHSA, however, would not confirm that Curie would be allowed to play in the state tournament. A decision could be reached Monday.

“Chicago Public Schools has a proud tradition of athletic competition and sportsmanship, but our No. 1 responsibility to our students is providing them with a solid academic foundation that will serve them the rest of their lives,” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement printed by the Sun Times and Chicago Tribune. “A district investigation into the academic eligibility of members of the Curie varsity basketball team found that a number of the players are academically ineligible to compete and, as a result, their season must be forfeited. As adults, educators and mentors, it is our responsibility to teach our students right from wrong and, unfortunately, the adults let these student-athletes down by failing to do that and comply with CPS policies.”

Alexander is the No. 4-ranked player in the country by and Curie the No. 2 ranked team by USA Today.


Phil Leister 8 years, 9 months ago

Someone better get some inside info quick and tell us if Cliff is one of the seven players...

Robert Brock 8 years, 9 months ago

Cliff is not one of the ineligible players. Nothing to fear...

Cora Smith 8 years, 9 months ago

UH OH! I have a bad feeling about this.......

Eric J. Baker 8 years, 9 months ago

So it sounds like someone messed up and forgot to file some academic eligibility paperwork with the city association. It doesn't sound like any players did anything wrong, or didn't pass some classes. Just a clerical error.

Phil Leister 8 years, 9 months ago

Could be. But a "clerical error" could raise suspicions about why only specific players were part of the error. Any time someone is ruled ineligible, it's a red flag to the NCAA. It'll be a headache.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 9 months ago

This incident reinforces my reasons for leaving Chicago, where we lived for 15 years. This is all Chicago Public Schools (CPS) BS which is in direct conflict with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Seven of the Curie players had GPA’s under 2.0. For them to have remained eligible they needed to be enrolled with an individual study plan (ISP), which is also complete BS. This is Arne Duncan common core BS. Duncan was CEO for CPS before moving on the US Secretary of Education in 2008.

The NCAA Eligibility Center ( is very clear when it comes to this and based upon what I’ve read and have heard, I seriously doubt Alexander is eligible to play for KU next fall. He’s going to need to get himself into Lawrence early for both sessions of summer school.

The one great example of all this is that Young, Okafor’s school and loser in the City Finals in 4 OTs has refused to be awarded the city championship. Young’s principal Joyce Kenner and coach Tyrone Slaughter stated on the news….” We lost the game in a fair contest and as far as I’m concerned that will be the outcome for us.”

More than Alexander’s eligibility, this is another expose into the pathetic education situation we have in the US, particularly the inner cities. A recent OECD study points out that the US spends over $15 million per student for HS, annually. That expenditure is far far higher than any other nation with lower 3rd world results.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry Suzi, but your number of $15 million per student pet year is clearly wrong. If it were correct, the government would have spent over $24 billion on my son's high school alone each year. I can tell you with certainty that is not the case. His school is nice, and I am sure there is significant overhead, but nothing that could approach that number.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 9 months ago

Of course it is. It's $15 thousand per student per year. The use of million instead of thousand is intented as an alagory or an extended metaphor to represent goverment spending excesses. It seems often they don't seem to understand the extended difference between the two units so they go with the latter. Thousands...Millions...the money comes off the same digital printing press and the middle class has an infinate ability to absorb taxes.

Larry Bauerle Jr. 8 years, 9 months ago

"The use of million instead of thousand is intented as an alagory or an extended metaphor to represent goverment spending excesses." And you are criticizing anyone about educational excellence? Ignoring the spelling and other errors, the whole statement simply means you lied to make a point.

Jack Jones 8 years, 9 months ago

I would say, "Nice try", Suzi ~ except it is a lousy try ~ almost as poor as your spelling. "Alagory" (NOT) ~ try, ALLEGORY!! "Of course it is ........thousands instead of millions"!! Sounds as if you are a product of a school system you are trying (the operative word in this case, for sure) to bash. Your Teapublican Party line of ~ in your words ~ BS ~ has no place in this discussion of the eligibility of Cliff Alexander. I see your kind of illiterate nonsense on a daily basis. Oh, one other thing ~ Suzi is not your real name is it?

Steve Gantz 8 years, 9 months ago

Come on Jack, you make the leap to call him a tea party member, as if there is such a thing as the tea party. I agree his post was not very well written, but to call him illiterate isn't accurate either, would he be writing here if he was?


Jack Jones 8 years, 9 months ago

Steve ~ You must not read much ~ The Tea Party self identifies itself. As for being literate, I don't recall that being a criteria for posting on this site ~ and his spelling is more than enough evidence of his literacy level.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 9 months ago

allegorical alliteration. What is your point about the content, my gender or Tea Party affiliation?

Jack Jones 8 years, 9 months ago

Actually, Suzi ~ My point regarding all three couldn't be more obvious. Points for coming up with getting "allegorical alliteration" correct ~ thank God for spell-check, right?.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 9 months ago

Why would you need to use an allegory where one wasn't needed? I think the use of millions was simply a mistake and you would have had much more credibility by simply stating that.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 9 months ago

Of course it was. I was kidding with that line and thought that would have been obvious.

Jack Jones 8 years, 9 months ago

"Of course it was." ~ "I was kidding with that line........would have obvious." What was obvious, Suze, was your ridiculous initial post ~ and your subsequent attempts to try to explain you way out of the hole. They were as lame as your original rant.

Kent Richardson 8 years, 9 months ago

We don't fund our schools as a top priority. The poorer our community the poorer the school. Actually Chicago has done better than KCMO in achievement of reclaiming neighborhoods and improving education quality. My grandchildren were being schooled in north suburban Chicago and doing great. My son and amazing daughter-in-law just moved back to work in the KC area and decided to live in Lawrence because of the children. It's akin to healthcare and how it's funded. Follow the money.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 9 months ago

First off, the federal government pays very little into the public school system. Most public school funding comes from the state and local governments which is why there is such a dramatic difference in the quality of schools in affluent communities as compared to schools from poorer rural or inner-city schools.

Second, the US attempts to educate ALL school age children in our population. What other country teaches the children of illegal aliens? We have a much more diverse population than found in European and other G 20 nations. Teaching students math who cannot speak English is difficult at best. Other countries such as China, Brazil and all Third World countries only teach a select few of their populations to receive any education. Comparing US SAT scores to other countries isn't really a fair comparison.

I'm not saying the US doesn't have room for improvement or that all our tax dollars are being spent wisely but let's not simply blame the school systems for failing to do their job. I taught middle school (7-9th grade at that time) in Hialeah FL where the population was 97% low income Hispanic so I know what I'm talking about. Both the teachers and the administration came to work with the goal of improving test scores and overall education but we still had an unacceptable low rate of graduation.

David Lara 8 years, 9 months ago

What we need to know is what gpa does the ncaa look at? Cumulative or most recent. Not being eligible because of grades is a semester per semester evaluation, so not a reflection of a cumulative score throughout hs. What score does the ncaa use to decide?

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 9 months ago

The Eligibilty Center, formerly the Clearing House, has a sliding scale of gpa in acceptable core classes vs. SAT. I'm purely speculating about Alexander's eligibilty but I do know the CPS. Over half the kids, 7, on the team has a gpa under 2.00. How pathetic is that. I doubt many of them are enrolled in AP Physics, although Curie claims to "offer a rigorous academic curriculum with an emphasis on technology and the arts."

Dale Kroening 8 years, 9 months ago

Here we go with the sky is falling ........ Everything Ive read and heard says Alexander WILL be eligible to play at KU next season, but we'll have to see how this plays out because we all know how the NCAA is. Have to agree with most of what Suzi said though. I live in Springfield, and have to say that the education system in this state is horrible.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 9 months ago

A lot of things in Illinois are horrible - higher gas prices, inane 65 mph speed limits on rural interstates, and corrupt Democrats in control.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 9 months ago

Please don't politicize this board. I'm a Democrat and post political comments elsewhere. Do the same.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 9 months ago

The sky is not falling, but it it a red flag.

John Randall 8 years, 9 months ago

This just sounds like typical Chicago backstabbing. Some political appointee with a score to settle. Very understandable that BHO chose that city for a base.

Marc Frey 8 years, 9 months ago

If the NCAA has any say, and they do, we all know how well that has worked out for us in the past.

Chad Smith 8 years, 9 months ago

you can't assume Alexander is one of those players, let's just wait and see

Rodney Crain 8 years, 9 months ago

Good Advice. I live in Chicago, we will find out who the 7 are I am sure. (yes I hate it here too). If Cliff is one, it is best to wait till the NCAA rules, since that will be the deciding element on his playing or not. I know in this world of instant everything that will be hard for us but its reality so buy in.

As to how bad this state is... take a look around - will the first state without sin, or bankruptcy or corrupt/stupid Politicians cast the first stone? I thought so, there is not one among you... So focus people!

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 9 months ago

N. Dakota is as good as it gets, if you like cold weather and lots of wide open spaces. It's all relative.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 9 months ago

By the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International -

Worst Eight states for Political Corruption — Georgia, Michigan, Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Virginia and Wyoming

took me .12 seconds to find that...

my point, no one is beyond this mess we are all in... So if you want to talk about IL, and I am with you on that, be sure your own backyard is in order... and no ones is...

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 9 months ago

ND was just a guess on my part. But c'mon Rodney, the CPI...really. I know a bit about Charles Lewis, the board and funding sources, i.e. George Soros.

Saying ND, WY, and SC have more political corruption would require my own review of the data to believe that bit.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 9 months ago

Really? So you cannot comment on the corruption embedded into Chicago politics unless you live somewhere without any corruption?

That is a ridiculous standard.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 9 months ago

Walter you cannot be that naive to think that it only happens here… right? Your state, any state has issues. IL does not even rate in the top 20 states of corruption. Murder, oh yeah we got some real issues there, huge debt yup, but the days of Capone, Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson ended around prohibition. So to think that it is embedded here and no where else is the ridiculous standard.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 9 months ago

Of course is the degree to which it happens. I'm not surprised Illinois is not in the top 20%, take out Chicago and the numbers would drop quite a bit further. As for me, I grew up on military bases where the teachers were federal workers. No corruption there.

And be real.. the Daley family was more corrupt than Capone.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 9 months ago

I wonder just how much due diligence is incumbent on the school recruiting an athlete? Did KU probe deeply into Cliff's scholastic eligibility...I hope they did, but at some point are we not at the mercy of the local academic overseers?

What seems so grating is that this appears to be a paperwork snafu [which I don't actually believe for a minute].

Now we all have something to worry about next year..will Cliff come to Kansas?..will he get to play the first semester? ..will he play in college at all?

I can undertand you all saying let's wait and see, however, the blood is in the water and the Great Whites are starting to circle. and our history with NCAA sanctions has been less than ideal.

Mentally, I will assume the best but prepare for the worst.

Robert Brock 8 years, 9 months ago

This sort of crap was attached to Darrell Arthur. Supposedly, his sophomore-year math teacher was coerced into changing his grade in order to keep Arthur eligible for the Texas playoffs. Some clowns on the interWebs claimed that KU was going to have to forfeit its National Championship as a result. LOL.

The problem was that Texas UIL was questioning South Oak Cliff's methods. Arthur's eligibility was never in doubt - he had a good transcript. The Clearing House gave him a good report and KU had no reason to question his soph math teacher or any other teacher.

This is internal Chicago stuff. The sooner Alexander gets out of Chicago the better. I am more worried about the wind-chill than Cliff's academics.

Ben Schwartz 8 years, 9 months ago

EDIT: after reading Suzi's comment above, you can mostly disregard my following comment. The whole thing is still pretty ridiculous though.

"Chicago Public Schools said the players would have been eligible if the proper forms were filed with the CPS office."

"...but our No. 1 responsibility to our students is providing them with a solid academic foundation that will serve them the rest of their lives...”

So wait...

they were stripped on the grounds of academic integrity because some administrator(s) didn't fill out a form?

Way to educate them that they can be screwed by something out of their control.

Maybe I am not grasping what exactly happened here, but this was apparently some academic paperwork which was not filled out that lead to the ineligibility, so why is it implied that ONLY the varsity men's basketball team was investigated? Why don't they investigate other athletic teams? This screams of a targeted attack to screw over a successful team (or someone associated with that team) on a technicality.

Brandon Mahon 8 years, 9 months ago

From what I have heard and read Cliff was not one of those players, so we have nothing to worry about

Jack Wilson 8 years, 9 months ago

Fretting and worrying over player eligibility is an incredible waste of time and effort.

Who cares? If Alexander is eligible, great. If not, we'll still be title contenders. Worst case: Embiid, Selden, Wiggins all go pro, White transfers, Alexander is ineligible, and Turner goes elsewhere.


  1. Tharpe/Mason
  2. Greene/Tharpe/CF
  3. Oubre/Greene
  4. Ellis/Traylor
  5. Lucas/Mickelson

That is still a top 10 team.

And if you doubt it, all you have to do is look at history. Self wins.

I saw a new word yesterday .. chillax. Kind of appropriate.

Phil Leister 8 years, 9 months ago

This is Kansas basketball! I wish I knew how to chillax (you really only saw that word yesterday?) when it comes to KU hoops, but I can't.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 9 months ago

Actually it deepens if Allen Fieldhouse makes its daily revolution as the sun is not moving in its relative position to the Fieldhouse :-)

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