Title-winning D.C. basketball coach on leave amid investigation over eligibility concerns

Title-winning D.C. basketball coach on leave amid investigation over eligibility concerns

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Title-winning D.C. basketball coach on leave amid investigation over eligibility concerns

Just last month, Angelo Hernandez was named 2017-18 ALL-USA D.C. Coach of the Year after leading Washington, D.C.’s Woodrow Wilson to a second straight DCIAA championship and its first DCSAA title.

Now, he is on administrative leave.

As the Washington Post has confirmed, Hernandez is on leave while D.C. Public Schools investigates whether all of his players live in the Northwest DC school’s zone.

Hernandez told the Post his ban started over three weeks ago in mid-April but he hasn’t received an explanation for a potential infraction.

A person with knowledge of the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Post the investigation is focused on at least two players’ residencies and could take nearly six months to complete. Hernandez just finished his fourth year as Wilson’s head coach and his 10th with the team overall. Per the Post, he is also Wilson’s pathways coordinator.

DCPS deputy press secretary Ashlynn Profit emailed the following statement to the Post Monday: “We cannot discuss the specifics of the personnel matter but when issues are found or brought to our attention, we review them and act in the best interest of our students.”

Hernandez told the Post he is not sure of the nature of the investigation.

“They [DCPS] don’t know because I don’t know, so nobody could possibly know,” Hernandez said. “My lawyer doesn’t even know, so we’re all trying to figure out the same thing.”

When asked by the Post about the allegation of players living outside the school’s zone, Hernandez said, “Right now, I think it’s a witch hunt. But hey, I don’t know for sure. Nobody really knows, to be honest. Nobody. And that’s the bad thing about it. That nobody knows. Not me.

“I mean, only the people that have put me on leave would know, so I don’t know who that is. I don’t even know who’s doing the investigation, supposedly.”

Per the handbook of the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association for 2017-18, every player must submit a residency verification form to be eligible to play, while transfer students seeking athletic eligibility must meet one of several criteria that include proof of permanent residency in the school’s district.

The Tigers (33-9) went undefeated in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association and beat Theodore Roosevelt for the league championship. They then beat Theodore Roosevelt followed by WCAC stalwarts  Gonzaga and St. John’s for the DCSAA title.

Among the top contributors for Wilson were junior guard Jay Heath and sophomore forward Dimingus Stevens, who both came in from Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) before the year.

Meanwhile, twin 6-foot-9 power forwards and Maryland commits Makhi and Makhel Mitchell are now at Wilson after playing last season at Super 25 No. 1 Montverde (Fla.) Academy. The rising seniors enrolled at Wilson in early April, a person with knowledge of the situation told the Post. In 2016-17, the duo attended Bishop McNamara (District Heights, Md.).

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Title-winning D.C. basketball coach on leave amid investigation over eligibility concerns
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