In partial response to public participation comments made at least week’s Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education meeting, superintendent Jim Smith said Tuesday that six high school male student-athletes that had been cut from basketball teams have been invited to come back and play.
“If they wish to come back to the basketball team an opportunity awaits,” Smith said.
Of the six that were invited back, Smith said only four are eligible to play sports. He said one was academically ineligible, one had discipline issues, and one had joined the wrestling team.
He said he did not have specific information on exactly what teams the boys were cut from, although all were freshmen or older.
At last week’s board of education meeting, Rodney and Jaymara Captain, who have a freshman son at Hillsboro, said the son was cut from the team after he originally thought he had made the team. They said that after a Saturday practice about three weeks ago it was their understanding that members of the freshman team had been told to go to the lockerroom and that if anyone was going to be cut, those players would be notified that day.
The Captains said no one said anything to their son, so he thought he had made the team, after having been cut the previous year, and that he shared the news with other family members. When the son returned to the next practice two days later, “unannounced tryouts” were held, according to the Captains, and their son was cut.
Smith said there may have been some misunderstanding. He said there were also other issues that coaches were dealing with including an FFA field trip and the end of football season.
“We don’t think anybody on our end meant to misinform anyone,” Smith said.
He said the Captains were called by school officials on Friday and that school officials met with them on Monday.
Part of the Captains’ complaint at the school board meeting was that Hillsboro boys basketball was low on the number of basketball participants at the high school level this year. They said only 26 to 27 students went out for basketball in grades nine to 12. They also noted that the majority of teams at that level carry at least 12 players on their rosters.
“I get it if we have numbers or don’t have enough uniforms. But we don’t have numbers. If the numbers are 26 to 30 now, where are they going to be next year?” Rodney Captain asked at the meeting in questioning why his son was cut.
“We do believe we need to carry more kids,” Smith said Tuesday. “That was expressed to the Captains, and it’s not just them.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.