Falcons protesting disqualification

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Prince William Falcons Sr. boys basketball team is facing a difficult situation with just a week to go before the start of the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) playoffs.

According to team coach Ernest Saunders, and father of the athlete in question, Dwight Dean, the Falcons have been wrongfully disqualified from the league’s playoff round. Saunders said that because of a particular athlete being on the squad’s roster, the team was penalized four games and kicked out of the postseason.

Dean said his son was in the twelfth-grade last year, but due to the fact that he would be graduating at 16, his mother asked the school to hold him back for a year. However, he never graduated from the school and never finished classes.

“I feel like our guys have been punished unfairly,” Saunders said. “I really thought that this was about the kids. The guys that are practicing every day. Since this incident, I have seen a change in the guy’s attitude. A lot of them are upset, because they feel like all of this has been done to target them. I feel the same way. His parents feel the same way as well.”

Both Dean and Saunders said that a rule was supposedly implemented into the league’s bylaws in January that would keep Dean’s son out of competition, however, that rule wouldn’t be able to come into effect until next season.

“When the season started, we looked over the rules to assess what kind of situation we would be walking into, but there was nothing saying he wasn’t eligible,” Dean said. “There was a meeting that took place in January, and they suggested that a player couldn’t play in Grade 12 in consecutive years, but it was never actually put into the bylaws.

“We have reached out to the league for a forum and they have been avoiding us. We reached out to the league president, and still got no response. We feel like we have to come to some level of understanding as to why we were suspended ahead of the playoffs starting