Boys Basketball: Central Coast Section rules Riordan must forfeit five games

By Jeremy Balan

When Archbishop Riordan High School’s boys basketball team was discovered to have used an ineligible player in the non-league season, many feared the misstep would lead to forfeits and those fears became a reality on Friday.

The Central Coast Section handed down a ruling that forced Riordan to forfeit blowout wins over Aragon (64-41 final score), University (66-43), Balboa (67-39), Tamalpais (62-36) and Terra Nova (73-28).

“It’s an unfortunate situation, but the rules are black and white,” said CCS assistant commissioner Steve Filios. “In the CCS bylaws, it says that if there is any contest where there is an ineligible player, it will be forfeited.”

Riordan athletic director Pete Russell and head coach Rich Buckner were hoping to make an appeal and felt that the paperwork detailing the forfeits allowed for an appeal process within 30 days, but Filios said there was no avenue for Riordan to appeal.

“These rules are there to prevent fraud and underplay, but there was no scheming from Riordan,” Buckner said. “I’m just speaking from my auditor’s standpoint, my day job. There was no intent, no one lied and there was no knowledge.”

Russell, who admitted an oversight on transfer paperwork two weeks ago, also felt the sanctions were not appropriate.

“This seems a little harsh for high school kids,” Russell said. “We’re not Ohio State or Florida State. Maybe the CCS has to justify their salaries with rulings like this. I don’t know.”

With the forfeits, Riordan’s record drops from 9-7 to 4-12 and puts the Crusaders in danger of missing the CCS Division IV playoffs.

Unless the ruling is overturned, Riordan would have to win seven games in West Catholic Athletic League play to qualify for the CCS postseason. The Crusaders are currently 2-4 in the WCAL with eight games to play, including a matchup against St. Francis tonight.

“The mindset here is that we’re not any good and that we need these games in the [non-league season],” Russell said. “The mindset we want at Riordan is to win WCAL titles. [Winning a CCS title] is like going to a bowl game with 6-6 teams.”

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33 Comments

  1. Paul B. says:

    WOW!!!! Total bummer on Riordan trying to rebound after several down seasons the past couple of years.

  2. Ari Gold says:

    Riordan is Div 4 now? Can only mean they dont meet the school size for Div 3 this year. Declining student enrollment???

  3. RC Cola says:

    That’s unfortunate… Maybe with the player eligible now, 5 for 8 in wins isn’t too unrealistic. It’s a player that with 10 – 20 Pts can put Riordan over.

    Win tonight, at SI, at Bellarmine, Valley Christian, and one against St. Francis or Serra and its on…

    SI – within 3pts with 4 minutes in the 4th
    Bellarmine – Won in double figures
    Valley Christian – Won
    St. Francis – will see tonight (comparable to Bellarmine)
    Serra – game will be at home

    • JJ says:

      This sounds feasible, but you really think Bellarmine will let Riordan run them off the court again, especially at their house? As for SI, the law of averages say that they should win soon, and everyone here already thinks Riordan can’t handle SI’s bigs, anyways. Good luck trying to beat Serra, probably the 4th or 5th best team in the Bay Area.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not so sure it was smart for Riordan’s AD Peter Russell to say something like that about the CCS. Mr. Russell it was your responsibility, it is no wonder Riordan is where it is in today’s age.

        • JJ says:

          It’s all politics. i’m sure if one of the CCS offical’s grandson was at Mitty, they would’ve been more lenient. But since SI and SHC already bullied the CCS for a football game at AT&T Park, they weren’t gonna let another team from Frisco “bully” them again.

  4. GCJ 01 says:

    One of the best quotes by an AD ever: “We’re not Ohio State or Florida State. Maybe the CCS has to justify their salaries with rulings like this. I don’t know.” -Riordan’s AD Pete Russell. This is a nice way of saying that the CCS higher ups are overpaid! I love it!

    On a side note, I feel for Riordan. Despite everything, they’re staying focused and doing well. I’m pulling for you Riordan! You can do it!

  5. Alumni says:

    The AD screwed up and Buck and his hard working team has to suffer. CCS is a joke! Look what happens at other sections. They play with a different set of rules.

    • Don L. says:

      Alumni,

      I would disagree that the sections play under different rules. Look back a few months to the volleyball articles. Lincoln of the AAA had a transfer issue as well and had to forfeit games. I hardly think these rules are just “section rules”. They should be CIF State rules.

  6. WCAL says:

    Refreshing to see real talk from an AD. Bellarmine, St Francis, Mitty and St Francis never seem to have their transfers scrutinized like the rest of the WCAL schools.
    Question for Filios: What were the rules when the 7ft center transferred to St Francis when you were the coach? How many games did he miss while CCS ruled on it?

  7. WCAL says:

    Did I mention St Francis?

  8. Ari Gold says:

    Russell’s comments if made in the NBA would’ve netted David Stern at least $100,000… When people in an authoritative position make comments about a higher authority and their decisions in a negative light, that just speaks volumes about that person’s character and professionalism. He basically dissed the CCS so don’t expect the CCS to do any favors for Riordan in the future.

  9. WCAL says:

    Like CCS has ever done any favors for Riordan. The South Bay schools love the CCS admin. What are you implying about Russell’s character Ari?

    • Fan says:

      I would say that Ari is saying to Russell, “Man up, you made a mistake and its done, get over it and move on. Rules are rules, no matter how unfair it may seem at the time. Bottom line is the paperwork did not get in on time and that totally lies with the AD Russell. It was an honest mistake which happens but unfortunately the ones who suffer are the kids.” Crying about it and making off the cuff remarks like what Russell said does not help anyone. The basketball program at Riordan is going through some rough patches and in time it will get better. Taking a shot at the CCS isn’t going to make anyone feel good in the long run. Its time to put this in its proper place and move on.

    • merkinworld says:

      At least Riordan has the best band in the league. wcal you should be proud.

      • Anonymous says:

        Riordan has the best band period. They also have the best snack bar out of all the gym in SF.

        • merkinworld says:

          @anonymous i hope those musicians and cooks get college scholarships

          • Johnny Drama says:

            More kids from Riordan’s band will get scholarships from the SHC hoops team.

            • Anonymous says:

              How many kids from SI’s hoop team will be getting scholarships, oh, that is right, NONE…!

              • Anonymous says:

                I would guess a lot of them will. Your narrow minded thinking is referring to basketball scholarships ………typical SHC

              • Anonymous says:

                I left this off my last post but as bad as SD31 is playing, I will bet the house that he ends up at a much more high profile college hoops program than Fox and Johns……..I don’t believe any scouts have watched them play this year. They will probably go the JC route.

              • JJ says:

                Based on a recruiting website, The University of Portland is recruiting Taylor Johns. As for SD31, he is ranked #31 in the Class of 2013, so obviously there’s about 40 colleges after the kid.

              • Ari Gold says:

                Sure SD31 is #31… He’s so awesome that his team is 7-10 (1-6 in WCAL).

  10. Anonymous says:

    To anonymous above in regards to putting down SHC kids. SHC had 100% of kids go to college for the past 4 years in a row. The kids there may not be as entitled as SI, which means they have to get into college on their own (not because mommy or daddy went to Harvard, therefore I am getting in). The kids at SHC work hard to get ahead. This topic is about basketball… The topic of scholarships comes up on a site dedicated to sports, and yes, most people would assume they were talking about an athletic scholarship.

    Now how many SHC kids will get a scholarship? Probably about the same as the ones on SI’s team. Stephen will get something somewhere (but don’t hold your breath for Duke, UNC, UK, or any of the other “basketball schools.” There are a few very intelligent kids there on that team that will get academic scholarships too. SHC has the EXACT same group of kids academically. Don’t assume that JUST since you go to SI that you are a genius. I have plenty of friends that went there and are just average, the same as everyone else.

    As for Riordans band? They are AMAZING!!!!! You can’t take that from them. They will get scholarships too.

    what kills me is when ignorant people say certain schools are known for certain things like this. SHC is NOT a meathead school. They send kids to all the Ivy league schools just like SI does, and like Riordan does. SI sends their kids to the JC’s just like SHC, and riordan.

    Everyone needs to stop ragging on the schools. What good does it do to put down the other SF schools? If anything, you want to boost the SF WCAL schools up so that we stand as one.

    Now that we are done with that. Riordan made a mistake. accept it and move on. It is what it is.

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
      Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
      Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya,
      O Lord, kum bay ya.

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