Coolidge boys’ basketball forfeits four games for use of ineligible player


The Colts, shown celebrating last year’s DCIAA championship, fell to 9-10 overall on the season and 5-1 in DCIAA play. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Coolidge boys’ basketball team has forfeited four games after District of Columbia Public Schools ruled it used an ineligible player earlier this season.

DCPS Athletic Director Stephanie Evans informed Coolidge officials of the ruling last week and subsequently notified the District of Columbia State Athletic Association of the infraction.

The player in question is senior guard Jaycee Wright, who played in four Colts wins in early December. According to Coolidge Coach Vaughn Jones, the investigation into Wright’s eligibility revolves around the number of years of high school basketball he has played. Jones said he believes Wright, who has played three years of varsity basketball at Coolidge, was initially cleared by DCPS to play at the beginning of the season.

DCPS officials did not divulge the nature of the eligibility violation. Evans declined further comment Monday evening but said DCPS continues to investigate the matter.

Wright, a 6-foot, 175-pound guard, averaged 8.8 points in wins over Cesar Chavez, Phelps, Herndon and a Dec. 15 victory over Gonzaga, in which he scored 12 points and grabbed two rebounds. He was taken out of the lineup by Jones in December after DCPS notified the school it was launching an investigation into his eligibility.

Check out the top plays from the week of basketball in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

The four additional losses drop Coolidge in the DCIAA standings. The Colts, who defeated upstart Eastern, 68-61, on Tuesday night, are now 10-10 overall this season and sit at 6-1 in DCIAA play.

Wright appeared in six games a year ago for the Colts, averaging 2.8 points per game for the DCSAA champions. He played in 21 games as a sophomore, averaging 3.9 points in helping Coolidge win 29 games.

Jones said Wright, who is a college prospect, continues to work out this winter and is still “a part of the team.” He plans to invite Wright to the team’s Senior Night festivities later in February, he said.

“I’m still going to help student athletes, as long as I am at Coolidge, get into college. That’s my championship. Whether we win the DCIAA or not, that’s my goal,” Jones said. “The higher-ups or the administrators, whatever their next steps are [with the investigation], I can’t control that. I can only control what I can.”

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