DC Elite games scheduled for Tuesday at Calihan Hall are cancelled, Monday’s participants could be penalized
Detroit – The four boys basketball games scheduled for Tuesday at Calihan Hall, sponsored by DC Elite, have been cancelled.
The showcase, which is called the DC Elite Tip-Off Classic, is in its third year. The first two years the event was held at Detroit Mumford. Former Detroit Northern star and NBA player Derrick Coleman is the president of DC Elite and his organization decided to move the event to Calihan Hall.
There were four games played on Monday with each game pitting a team from Chicago against a team from the Detroit.
According to Michigan High School Athletic Association assistant director Tom Rashid his organization was unaware that the event was not school-sponsored, and that any event that is sponsored by an individual or organization outside of a school it must be approved by the MHSAA. Rashid said Coleman did not contact the MHSAA or the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS).
According to Section 6 (A) of the MHSAA rule book, no MHSAA member school may participate in competition at a site where a school from another state or country is competing unless all schools are in good standing with their respective National Federation member high school association (if eligible), all National Federation sanctioning requirements are fulfilled, and there is compliance with MHSAA travel limitations.
Coleman expressed his disappointment with the decision by the MHSAA.
"They’re hurting the kids," he said. "For most of these kids this playing at this venue is the biggest stage they’ll play on. I was not given an explanation why (Tuesday’s games) were cancelled."
The four Detroit teams – U-D Jesuit, Detroit King, Detroit Renaissance and Detroit Western – that participated on Monday are subject to a penalty or penalties. Rashid said no penalties would be administered for this season but that it is quite possible all four will be restricted to 19 games next season, down one from the allotted 20. It’s possible additional penalties could be also levied.
U-D coach Pat Donnelly said he and his staff were informed of the situation as they travelled to Monday’s game.
“I don’t think it would (have been) prudent for us to pull out,” Donnelly said. “The first game had already started when we arrived. Fans had already purchased their ($10 at the door) tickets.
“It’s a little frustrating. We want to play a tough schedule and then all this happens.”
Donnelly estimated there were over 3,000 fans for U-D’s game against Chicago Morgan Park, won by U-D, 64-61.
Donnelly added that his school administrators might well attempt to appeal the MHSAA’s decision but he couldn’t be certain.
Of Tuesday’s four games, the Detroit Loyola-Southfield Christian game has been moved to Detroit Loyola and will start at 5 p.m. and Wayne Memorial’s game against Detroit Edison has been moved to Edison and will start at 5:30 p.m.
No make-up date has been set for the other two (Detroit Cass Tech vs. Walled Lake Central and Detroit Henry Ford and Macomb Dakota).
“The message is,” Rashid said. “For schools to be aware of this process. There is an application that must be filled out for sanctioning.”