Chugiak High School head boys basketball coach Jocquis Sconiers was fired Thursday, one day after a news story broke detailing a recruiting violation and subsequent cover-up attempt.
“Chugiak High School has released their basketball coach today and will be appointing an interim coach for the rest of the season,” ASD spokeswoman Catherine Esary said Thursday afternoon.
Esary said she couldn’t release more information because the situation is considered a personnel matter. Chugiak assistant principal Ben Johrendt said assistant basketball coach Josi Schultz has been named the team’s interim head coach.
Sconiers has also been placed on a one-year suspension from coaching by the Alaska School Activities Association, according to ASAA executive director Billy Strickland. Chugiak -- which opened the season 1-2 -- will also have to forfeit its only win, a victory over Tikigaq in the season-opening Cougar Tipoff Tournament at Service last weekend.
Robert Sheldon, the senior point guard whose transfer from Noatak to Chugiak was found to be against ASAA rules, has also been ruled ineligible, Strickland said. However, his eligibility could potentially be restored.
“Right now that’s what we’re still trying to work out,” he said.
Strickland said ASAA’s investigation is ongoing, and further action could be taken. However, it’s possible the player at the center of the investigation, could still retain his eligibility if it’s determine he had no involvement in the scandal.
“I think the student very well could have a case for pleading a hardship,” Strickland said Thursday.
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ASAA rules prohibit a player from transferring to play at the school where their summertime coach works. Sconiers denied coaching Sheldon during a July AAU tournament in Las Vegas, going so far as to ask a former colleague to lie on his behalf. But the story unraveled when the former AAU assistant coach admitted the lies to a reporter Wednesday.
ASAA and Anchorage School District officials held a special meeting Thursday to address the situation. Strickland said at this time he doesn’t think the school was aware of Sconiers’ recruiting violation until it became public.
“I don’t think the school itself was trying to get away with something,” he said.