BREAKING NEWS: Muir coach Gamal Smalley placed on administrative leave pending thorough investigation regarding ineligible use of player.


Muir forfeits 20 games, will miss playoffs (Pasadena Star-News)

The controversy surrounding the Muir High School boys basketball team’s disqualification from the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs is far from over.

According to sources, the Pasadena Unified School District has placed Muir coach Gamal Smalley on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation surrounding the program having to forfeit 20 victories after the use of an ineligible player, thus eliminating the No. 5 seeded Mustangs from playoff contention.

Smalley on Wednesday afternoon was escorted off campus by assistant principal Charles Park and asked to turn in his keys before immediately meeting with district officials at headquarters.

Muir principal Sheryl Orange and athletic director Robert Galvan could not be reached for comment. Smalley did not return repeated voice mails and text messages left on his cell phone seeking comment.

Smalley also has been instructed not to have contact with his players or team parents and, according to sources, is expected to speak with an independent investigator hired by the district.

Smalley has compiled a 76-30 record in three seasons at the helm, leading the Mustangs to a Division 5AA finals run lastas year. Muir was the only public school listed in the final Division 4AA top 10 poll. It was 24-2 at season’s end, ranked in the top 50 and poised to make a run in the so-called “Super Division”.

But word came the week leading up to the Mustangs’ season finale that the program was under review after the CIF-SS contacted Muir about possible ineligebility concerns surrounding Andre Frazier. The prominent 6-foot-5 forward had previously attended Fairfaix, University High of Los Angeles and Bell-Jeff. At issue was whether there was a valid change of address after transferring from Fairfaix.

School officials made a frantic effort providing documentation, but it proved to be insufficient. School officials exhausted every option that included the application for an at-large berth, which was denied by the CIF-SS.

Orange issued a statement saying that “a valid change of residence could not be sufficiently established” and that as a result “Muir decided to forfeit the games.” When the Pacific League re-submitted its final league standings, Muir was not included.

Frazier has since transfered back to Fairfax.

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  • muirbballparent

    I hope coach smalley isnt the only one to go the AD is to be held at fault to. THE PLAYERS ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT ARE SUFFERING. DR. PARK AND MISS ORANGE ALL NEED TO FOLLOW. They choose to throw away the teams season they need to go too. kids change schools everywhere and the people who are in charge are responsible for there paperwork to make sure they are cleared to play. if you dont do your job then get someone who will. we cant go blaming anybody for telling cif. Have your stuff together and there is nothing to tell.

  • muirparent

    I did not think a coach had access to administrative paperwork to verify an athletes status, both academically and his residence. That is why there are AD’s, you know so that someone could DIRECT the ATHLETICS department. He isn’t suspended, why is Coach Smalley when all he has to do is show up and coach?

  • Anonymous

    Man Muir is stupid on Bloods coach Smalley brought that dead ass basketball program back and they suspend him because the dumbass AD didnt do his job. I think the whole Athletic department should be let go except Smalley and D. holmes the rest can get……Besides the girl coaches but lowkey them dudes suck to at coaching.

  • doggalum

    It appears that the administration at JM never gets affected by their decisions. Just the coaches (football and basketball) and the students.

  • Unbelievable…but the devil is always in the details. For them to place him on leave, escort him off campus or to instruct him not to talk with any of the players/parents, or the involvement of an investigator…and the fact that the student involved transferred back to Fairfax, tells me that administration feels it was intentionally mislead…by who/whom or by what altered document(s), we will see. I’m really interested in knowing why the powers that be at CIF waited to nearly the end of the season to address the issue…what really provoked their inquiry? Again, we will see.

    Another sad day for the Mustangs….hoping we don’t have to read about another “opening” in their athletic department.

    Any word on the new head football coach??

    Laurence Todd

  • Remember, Principal Orange issued a statement saying that “a valid change of residence could not be sufficiently established”

    Again, “someone” gave “something”… just wasn’t accepted….

    Laurence Todd

  • bulldogfan




  • bigfatfan

    the last line of the story cracked me up: the ineligible kid returned to Price. Muir really got screwed over by that carpetbagger…but give me a break, that coach and the Muir AD should have done their homework last Fall when Mr. Carpetbagger first showed up.

  • MuirAdmin

    Coach Smalley, our AD and others are being investigated about the transfer of a former student. However it was not made public that he could not contact anyone, meaning that #bulldognation must either be a parent or close to one. I would like to remind everyone that we at Muir believe Coach Smalley is not at fault, and that he was given the job at Muir because he wanted it when no one else did. As an alum of Muir, and as a high school basketball coach who lost a CIF championship by a single point prior to his employment by Muir, felt that he was absolutly qualified for the position. We were also pleased to see that so many of his athletes were attending college outside of the local area. We still support him and wish for a swift investigation.

  • viking_fan

    MuirAdmin, it says right in the article “Smalley also has been instructed not to have contact with his players or team parents and, according to sources, is expected to speak with an independent investigator hired by the district”

    As a Bulldog alum and Viking parent, I don’t feel it’s fair that Gamal take the fall for everything. Yes he’s the coach, but isn’t it the AD’s job to make sure everything is done before the player hits the court?

  • I hear the AD might have to give up his duties as AD and is now an assistant on the baseball team. I hope he knows the game because they need all the help they can get when it comes to baseball. Smalley got the short end of the stick but in hindsight should have kept up with the situation, especially since they were winning. You know the schools on the other side of the 2 FWY are always looking for reasons to cry foul.I am sure the whiners at C…..HS were the point folks here. But you have to abide by the rules so here we are, probably looking for a coach but Muir should not take too long like they have with the football coach

  • It’s an ugly situation.

    I know exactly what’s coming down the line, unfortunately. Hint: Coach Smiley (a former AD)the Principal and the current Athletic Director all had to attest to the validity of the data submitted in the transfer document/form, or give a statement explaining why they could not attest to the transfers validity i.e. it’s truthfulness. All three of them couldn’t have gotten it wrong when “each” signed the transfer documents.

    Again, it’s an ugly situation – one that could have been avoided.

    Laurence Todd

  • Hal Lamaster

    A student’s residence should be pretty easy to verify. Utility bills, mortgage/rental agreement, etc. would take care of it.

    With a transfer student (and one that had been at 4 schools in four years) it seems like a red flag would have been raised. Common sense screams, “Don’t play him until the CIF gives the all clear.”

    The school district must have received some type of residency information for the young man since he was enrolled at the school and attending classes. I guess some questions to ask are “was he really living in Pasadena or Altadena and was he really living with his legal guardians?”

    If he wasn’t living with his parents (guardians) or wasn’t living within the PUSD boundaries, did coaches, players, and/or admin know?

    Someone obviously knew and the whole thing blew up.

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