BREAKING NEWS: Gamal Smalley has resigned as Muir High School’s boys basketball coach.

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BREAKING NEWS: Muir’s Sheryl Orange to be ousted at year’s end (Pasadena Star-News)

Muir A.D. Robert Galvan relieved of duties (Pasadena Star-News)

BREAKING NEWS: Gamal Smalley placed on administrative leave (Pasadena Star-News)

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

By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer

Muir High School’s boys basketball coach Gamal Smalley announced his resignation following a three-week administrative leave, the Star-News learned Wednesday.

Smalley sent a letter of resignation to the Pasadena Unified School District last week. The administrative leave placed Smalley under strict orders to have no contact with players or their parents.

The move comes amid a scandal surrounding the program having to forfeit 20 wins. It disqualified the Mustangs from the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs as well as negating a Pacific League championship. An independent investigation also led to the suspension of Muir athletic director Robert Galvan. It coincides with the planned replacement of Muir Principal Sheryl Orange next year.

Muir was in hot water after it was discovered that a valid change of address could not be provided for Muir forward Andre Frazier, who previously attended Bell-Jeff, University of Los Angeles and Fairfax. He’s since transferred back to Fairfax. A clerical error led to the discovery, and upon making a frantic effort to prove a change of address, Muir also missed the deadline to apply for an at-large playoff berth, which was denied by the CIF-SS.

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

Smalley, who previously coached at Blair, leaves a program poised to make a good run next season with the return of 6-foot-4 junor wing/forward Jelani Mitchell.

Smalley, an Altadena resident, said Muir has made a lot of progress over the last three years. But the scandal bore a heavy personal burden.

“It’s a very personal and hurtful situation,” he said. “Because I have a lot of roots at Muir. We had three children graduate from Muir, myself and my wife. I’m very sad in the way it ended.”

Smalley sent an e-mail to the parents of returning players to inform them of his decision.

“I know a lot of parents were frustrated after the forfeitures and it’s understandibly so,” Smalley said. “The parents felt they wanted to go in another direction, and I certainly understand that. I hope that they understand I gave the very best I can. I’m hurting with them, too.”

Smalley has been in talks with the independent investigator hired by the district, and he is expected to meet with the investigator again next week.

“I’m hoping I can make a difference so this does not happen again.”

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  • http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org PASHOFPAL

    Ugly, horrible situation that, again, could have been avoided. There is light at the tunnel. I’m sure of it. Muir’s 2011-12 basketball season was not all for nothing; the silver lining is coming.

    Laurence Todd
    President
    http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org

  • viking_fan

    Sorry to hear that. Gamal accomplished a lot these last couple seasons at Muir.

  • SGV basketball fan

    He cheated. He accomplished a lot by cheating. It is the coaches responsibility to know who is on their teams. If you are willing to recruit kids then you have to live with the consequences. There is no way that you can bury your head in the sand and hope no one will ever find out. Dr Smalley is a good coach but cif says win with honor. There is no honor in cheating. Now go a little east and look at that other school in pasadena. They cheat more than anyone

  • the truth

    The truth is when it comes to high school basketball there are kids all over california that go to school way out of the district that has been happening from years. Muir coach just got caught.

  • viking_fan

    Not saying Gamal recruited, not saying he didn’t. Only he knows for sure. But kids were starting to want to come to Muir to play ball. People forget that even though they didn’t win league last year, they went all the way to playoff finals. Kids see that and want to play for a team like that.

    And sgv fan, as far as insinuating that phs cheats more than anyone, again kids see a program doing well and want to play there. Plus with as many kids that go to hs, and come out to play ball, I don’t think they have a lack of players.

  • http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org PASHOFPAL

    …it’s seems I owe CIF-SS an apology – sort of.

    While it’s requesting or raising the issue regarding Mr. Frazier’s eligibility came extremely late in the season, it seems as if CIF-SS was never advised of his transfer at the beginning of the season or the school year. So, technically, they raised the issue when the issue was presented – from whatever source. CIF-SS did it’s job, but again, can’t understand how this kid was allowed to play for the entire season without them knowing. If CIF ONLY becomes aware or interested in/of a “transfer” student from the school/member, it seems that any school could fill their rosters with any players provided that no one complained or alerted CIF – that’s a loophole that needs to be filled immediately. A simple matrix/spreadsheet of players from a prior year compared to the current year would red flag any potential unidentified transfers, is just one example – we all could probably think of hundreds more. Again, it’s a flaw in the system that needs to be re-examined..or do away with transfer restrictions all together, but thats another story.

    Nevertheless, that still doesn’t excuse Mr. Smalley’s or Mr. Gavin’s behavior. Both knew he was a transfer and both knew that prior to “THAT” call from CIF – that Mr. Frazier was never approved to play by CIF. Their behavior was negligent…even reckless. Mr. Smalley’s resignation was a step in the right direction, as was Mr. Gavin’s removal as A.D. – but their failure to admit their wrongdoing (read Mr. Smalley’s comments – he down plays his involvement or any awareness of any issues regarding Mr. Frazier’s transfer)is the real shame behind this scandal. The student athletes, and their parents, and, unfortunately, Ms. Orange have/will suffer the most.

    Again, ugly situation that didn’t need to happen. The PUSD needs to issue it’s findings as soon as possible so we all can move forward.

    Laurence Todd
    President
    http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org

  • Facts

    I work in CIF and as a Muir grad find it horrible that my own organization is trying to avoid their fault. We absolutely knew of Frazier’s basketball activity, had indeed cleared him to play and when it was brought to our attention by Cresenta Valley HS that his name was spelled incorrectly in transfer papers by Bell Jeff, reached out to Muir to make them aware. Former AD Gavin then told us that Frazier was staying with a Mr. Hollins and that he was his legal guardian. That is when we contacted Dr. Smalley, the Muir Administration and PUSD. Mr. Todd, I do not know who you are getting your information from, but what you state is far from the accurate. I suggest you wait until the PUSD makes a statement before commenting on info that may not be fact.

  • Hal Lamaster

    “Facts”, I’m still not clear on why the player was found to be ineligible.

    You said, “We (CIF) absolutely knew of Frazier’s basketball activity, had indeed cleared him to play”

    So, what changed?

    Was it that Frazier’s name was misspelled on a transfer document from Bell-Jeff? That seems pretty minor.

    So I guess the big question is where was Frazier living when he was playing and attending school at Muir?

    The Muir principal stated that they were having difficulty verifying Frazier’s residence. Well, either he lived within the PUSD boundary or he didn’t. Either he was living with his legal guardian or he was not.

    Would you clarify what the reasons behind the forfeitures were.

  • http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org PASHOFPAL

    “FACT”

    “We absolutely knew of Frazier’s basketball activity, had indeed cleared him to play and when it was brought to our attention by Cresenta Valley HS that his name was spelled incorrectly in transfer papers by Bell Jeff, reached out to Muir to make them aware. Former AD Gavin then told us that Frazier was staying with a Mr. Hollins and that he was his legal guardian.”

    Really? You knew he was playing – but under the wrong name, but allowed him to play anyway? That’s a fact, right? So…your organization failed to properly identify Mr. Frazier and when advised by a member/school – Cresenta Valley -who was only concerned about his name spelling – not for any transfer issues, your organization decided only to advise Muir to confirm his true “name” (as if MUIR didn’t know) not because there were issues with his transfer? If so, then why did Muir have forfeit their games? Why, all of a sudden, the issue of transfer papers – for a player YOUR ORGANIZATION KNEW WAS PLAYING REGARDLESS OF THE CORRECT SPELLING OF HIS NAME?

    If what you are saying is true, then you are right,it’s horrible that your organization is trying to escape their own liability. Further, if the spelling of his name was the reason why your organization needed to “redo” his transfer papers, then my comments are in deed a FACT – YOUR ORGANIZATION NEVER APPROVED MR. FRAZIER (SPELLED CORRECTLY) PRIOR TO THE SEASON.

    Granted, a large part of what I say is conjecture on my part, but 2 + 2 is always 4 – no matter when or how you come to learn that simple equation. In this situation, many a players i.e. Smalley, Galvin, Orange and CIF, are all apart of that equation total.

    I’ve apologized to your organization and as noted before, PUSD needs to make its decision soon so we all can move forward. As for CIF – do us all a favor and let them know how “horrible” you feel. It would be much appreciated.

    Laurence Todd
    President
    http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org

  • http://WWW.PASADENASPORTSHALLOFFAME.ORG PASHOFPAL

    Also Fact:

    “I work in CIF and as a Muir grad find it horrible that my own organization is trying to avoid their fault. We absolutely knew of Frazier’s basketball activity, had indeed cleared him to play and when it was brought to our attention by Cresenta Valley HS that his name was spelled incorrectly in transfer papers by Bell Jeff, reached out to Muir to make them aware. Former AD Gavin then told us that Frazier was staying with a Mr. Hollins and that he was his legal guardian.”

    Who is this Mr. Hollins? Not Ryan Hollins – former Muir alumni (and former NBA Cleveland Cavalier and now Boston Celtic) and former teammate of Joseph Frazier (remember Smalley’s basketball fundraiser for him – attended by Mr. Hollins), who held a basketball camp at Muir with Smalley and “Coach Brice” of the “Pressure Basketball Club” that Andre Frazier was a member of while attending, in particular, Bell-Jeff? Not that same Ryan Hollins who has a long history with Pressure Basketball Club and Coach Brice. That can’t be the same Mr. Hollins you are referring to…or is it?

    I can’t wait for the PUSD’s report.

    Laurence Todd
    President
    http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org

  • http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org PASHOFPAL

    The CIF’s website states that an “Andre Fraizer” transfer was never approved pending a valid change of residency. With an action date of 12/09/11. Visit their website under T approvals.

    So between December 2011 until Miguel broke the horrible news that Muir was forfeiting 20 games in February 2012, Muir, could not produce any documents sufficient to demonstrate that “Andre Fraizer” who was living with a “Mr. Hollins” had a valid change of residency at the start of basketball season, right? Remember, it’s reported that an effort to determine residency was done after an inquiry by CIF.

    Still think my sourcing or information is wrong?

    Then what did Mr. Gavan (the former AD of Muir) submit to CIF-SS at the beginning of the school year? It was his 4th school in 4 years, he had to seek approval from CIF to play legally, and if he was approved, under either “Frazier” or “Fraizer” prior to the season, it would have been posted, like all other approvals, on CIF-SS website? Where is it?

    It would appear that “this” issue is not whether or not CIF was simply alerted about a player’s mispelled name and all that followed, but rather, a player whose name and identity was intentionally hidden.

    Curious to know by who?

    Laurence Todd
    President
    http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org