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High School Sports

ASAA to reinstate basketball player at center of recruiting scandal, fine Chugiak High

  • Author: Matt Tunseth
  • Updated: December 22, 2018
  • Published December 21, 2018

Chugiak's Robert Sheldon makes a pass through the Tikigaq defense last week in a game at Service High. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

The Alaska School Activities Association has granted an eligibility waiver to Chugiak High senior Robert Sheldon that will allow the player at the center of a recruiting scandal to remain eligible for the season.

Chugiak will also be fined $250 for the recruiting violation that resulted in the firing of head coach Jocquis Sconiers on Thursday.

“ASAA believes that the former Chugiak coach’s failure to be truthful was not within the student’s control and therefore meet(s) the criteria of a hardship,” ASAA executive director Billy Strickland wrote in a Friday text message about the decision.

Strickland said Chugiak will not be banned from postseason play.

Sconiers was fired one day after a a news story broke detailing his involvement with Sheldon — who transferred from Noatak to Chugiak this year — as the point guard’s AAU basketball coach. ASAA rules prohibit a player from transferring to and playing at the same school where their out-of-school coach works.

Sheldon was ruled ineligible and Chugiak was forced to forfeit its only victory of the season, a 70-36 win over Tikigaq last week in the season-opening Cougar Tip Off tournament at Service High.

Sconiers denied he coached Sheldon at a tournament in July, even when confronted with video showing him pacing the sidelines and shouting instructions to Sheldon’s team during a tournament game in Las Vegas. When asked about the video, Sconiers told Strickland and Chugiak High administrators that another man, a former assistant named Jules Ferguson, actually coached the team.

However, when contacted, Ferguson said he’s not the person in the video and that Sconiers asked him to lie on his behalf. Sconiers was fired the next day.