The girls and boys basketball programs at Duncanville High School have dominated for the last several years, but on Monday decisions from the group that oversees high school sports reprimanded the teams for ‘violations.’
Monday morning the University Interscholastic League, UIL, State Executive Committee met in Austin to determine the fate of two coaches and the basketball programs.
Head Coach LaJeanna Howard, sat before the committee next to the district’s attorney and the athletic director answering questions about a recent social media post that was the center of the issue.
The program was accused of posting a flyer advertising tryouts for players not already on the team, which also attracted a player from another district. Howard said while she believes a colleague posted the message to social media, took accountability for not double-checking if that was okay.
The UIL said because they didn’t go through the proper channels, that went against the UIL recruiting rules.
Specifically, in a statement citing “Violation of UIL Constitution and Contest Rules Section 409, Recruiting; Section 1206(f), School Practice and Game Restrictions; and Section 1230(b)(1)(A), Basketball Plan.”
Howard was suspended for a year with three years probation and a public reprimand. The team was also punished and suspended from any post-season play for 2022-23, plus a three-year probation.
After learning her fate, the boy’s head coach, David Peavy, would also be reprimanded and suspended for a year with a three-year probation.
The UIL stripped the 2022 Conference 6A Boys Basketball State Championship title from Duncanville citing the team had to forfeit all games because of an ineligible player.
Anthony Black, one of the top high school recruits in the nation, is now a freshman at The University of Arkansas playing for the Razorbacks.
It stems from when Black transferred to Duncanville from Coppell and the UIL ruled that the star player was ineligible. Black challenged that status in court and sat out several games while the matter played out in the justice system.
A Travis County district judge sided with Black and issued a temporary injunction which created a legally binding path for the senior to rejoin the team for the majority of the 2021-22 season.
The UIL appealed the decision, but Texas’ Third District Court of Appeals upheld the injunction in May.
The Texas Supreme Court dismissed the case in September, citing the case as moot which also vacated the injunction, the legal mechanism that Duncanville ISD relied upon to permit Black to play.
Monday morning, Duncanville ISD’s attorney brought that up to the committee stating, “Duncanville ISD did not violate any rules as it was interpreted by the courts at this time,” said Kathryn Long, at Monday’s hearing. “At all times, Duncanville ISD was fully complying with either the UIL’s decision or a judicial order from the Texas state district court.”
She went on to say, “Duncanville never challenged the district or state UIL decisions, and was never a party to any lawsuit. Duncanville fully cooperated with both the district and state committee decisions, but the student and his mother brought the lawsuit challenging the decision, and they prevailed.”
Duncanville ISD said in a statement to NBC5 ‘at all times the student played for Duncanville, the player did so under a valid court order.’ The district added although the matter is still pending, the district disagrees with the UIL that it violated any rules when it played Black.
“These are significant and unprecedented consequences for both programs, and students will suffer the most from today’s decisions,” Duncanville ISD superintendent Marc Smith said.
The news of Duncanville losing its title means that McKinney High School is now the 2022 conference 6A state champion according to UIL. “The game will be listed as a 2-0 win in favor of McKinney in tournament records and all state tournament records for that game will be expunged,” said UIL in a statement.
To watch the entire hearing, click here.