West Seattle girls basketball coach suspended, team placed on probation after rules violation
West Seattle girls basketball coach Darnell Taylor will be suspended for the first two games of the 2017-18 season due to a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) rules violation. The Wildcats remain eligible for the postseason, but are on probation and could face serious penalties if any other violations arise.
The incident occurred when the school transitioned to current athletic director Corey Sorenson. Taylor interpreted a rule incorrectly regarding play in out-of-town tournaments, which resulted in the team playing more games than allowed.
Taylor said the matchup against Curtis on Jan. 3 should not have been played. West Seattle won, 48-40, en route to finishing the regular season at 15-6 overall. WIAA rules state teams are only permitted to play 20 regular-season games.
“MaxPreps was one of the recording vehicles and not all of the (holiday) tournament games were on MaxPreps until later on,” said Pat McCarthy, assistant director of athletics for Seattle Public Schools. “That was part of the problem of why it wasn’t caught (sooner).”
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The discovery was made close to postseason play, West Seattle winning its first district championship. The school self-reported the oversight to the WIAA executive board, which reviewed and approved its course of correction.
In addition to the two-game suspension, Taylor and Sorenson will attend rules clinics to become more familiar with National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHA) and WIAA policies.
“It got to a point where there wasn’t much I could do,” said Taylor, who’s in his second season at West Seattle. “It’s a good thing I have a young team that’s pretty much all returners. The start of next year shouldn’t be too rough, they should know what we’re doing.”