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Latino Daily News

Tuesday February 8, 2011

Florida Ruling on Immigrant Basketball Player’s Ineligibility Stands, Team Out of Playoffs

Tuesday, the Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) upheld its original ruling on the matter of a foreign-born high school basketball player who was discovered ineligible to play.

Bryan Delancy, 19, was born in the Bahamas and arrived in Florida three years ago on a student visa. Before this school year, Delancy was enrolled at Choice Academy in Miami. In order to be eligible to play basketball, his school filed international student paperwork with the FHSAA, he was cleared to play. However, last August, he switched schools and enrolled at Michael Krop Senior High School, and joined the basketball team.

The problem arose when, in January, it was discovered that the international student paperwork was not filed when Delancy transferred to Krop. Unfortunately, that meant Delancy was ineligible for the 19 games he played with the team he helped reach the playoffs.

Tuesday’s ruling upheld the decision of Delancy’s ineligibility and forces Krop to forfeit the games in which he played, causing them to miss out on the playoffs this year.

“We have never had a situation where we’ve had to deal with this,” said Shakey Rodriguez, a Miami-Dade basketball legend who has five state titles in 14 years under his belt. “I thought immigration status was not something we’re supposed to ask about.”

While Florida public schools currently do not reject students based on immigration status, that only applies to education and not after-school activities.