My story on Muir’s forfeit is being edited right now. As soon as it’s done I’ll post the detailed piece here. I spoke with Muir coach Gamal Smalley for about an hour, but I’m posting a statement he sent me earlier in the day. This is it in its entirety. Check back for the story later and in Monday’s Star-News.
I learned earlier in the week that our season was in jeopardy because of some administrative technicalities with regards to transfer papers on one of our student athletes. Though I was suffering from a week long fever, minor surgery, and a complete feeling of helplessness, trying to sleep at night was impossible since the sound of my heart beat felt like crashing symbols.By Friday’s game it was pretty clear that our entire team was affected by the troubling news, though we kept it to ourselves and gave it our best.
I share the hurt and disappointment with my student athletes and families who worked so hard to make this season such a memorable beacon of light for John Muir High Basketball. Our student body and alumni gave us tremendous support and we made such great strides this season with a 24-2 record, one of the best in school history. I will be forever grateful for the support and extremely proud of our team. This set back is deeply felt by our seniors who worked so hard to make the most out of their final season after last year’s climb to the CIF Championship game.
However I didn’t sign up to be the Muir Coach through good times only.This is a very sad and challenging time but I am here to help my seniors navigate through their college and career destinations.We can’t dwell on where we are now, who made initial complaints and why. We must turn our eyes to the future.I know Administration is making changes to assure safe guards so that nothing will ever fall through the cracks like this again. As for the underclassmen in our program, if you think we worked hard this year you haven’t seen anything yet. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves to make our program strong as ever. There is an old saying, that you can’t keep a good man down, well you can if he stays down. That’s not me, that’s not Muir, and we will rise from this.
Why, you ask? Cause that’s what we do!