A pair of highly touted basketball prospects who previously starred for St. Mary’s High in Buffalo are moving forward with a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo related to the expulsion of the pair in April, a move which essentially torpedoed late recruiting momentum and has jeopardized their potential collegiate future.
As reported by the Buffalo News, Takal Molson and Cameron Dunning were expelled from St. Mary’s in April without a formal reason given to either the athletes or the student body. The two were suspended before the final two games of the area playoffs with a state tournament berth on the line, and their families and the basketball coach at Health Science Charter School, where they now attend, insist that their absence and the team’s elimination dented their chance at a college scholarship due to lost exposure and achievement. Molson, an all-state selection, has reportedly received recruiting attention from the likes of West Virginia and Monmouth, among other programs, but potential scholarship offers were deterred by the discipline against him from St. Mary’s.
Most troubling, the two families insist that the expulsions came, “under suspicious circumstances,” and that the families were never informed of any investigations into their children nor any pending discipline against them until their expulsions were handed down. Both teens were reportedly students in good standing at the school with high GPAs who had earned recruiting attention during their sophomore and junior seasons. Both teens were also standouts on the St. Mary’s football team.
Molson’s mother provided more details about the circumstances surrounding the expulsions in a release announcing the suit issued by the two families.
“We were never told by leadership, faculty or any staff at St. Mary’s as to why the boys were initially suspended and ultimately expelled,” Felicia Baker said in the release. “No one communicated with us in any way, and we were never allowed to participate in any meetings on the matter despite our constant inquiries to the school.”
The civil rights attorney retained by the family goes further, claiming that the two teens were never even informed of an investigation or what they did wrong themselves, nor were they given any time to discuss academic options or possible due process.
Now, the teens are scheduled to graduate from Health Science Charter School but will have to attend community college and a prep school, respectively, to keep alive their college basketball dreams.
The Buffalo Catholic Diocese refused comment to the Buffalo News, citing a diocese prohibition from discussing student discipline without written consent from the students themselves.