Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ihsa Denies Caswell Appeal; Injunction Allows Him to Play

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ihsa Denies Caswell Appeal; Injunction Allows Him to Play

Article excerpt

Bennie Lewis coaches the East St. Louis Lincoln boys basketball team, and he likes his team's prospects this season. Jamal Horton and Lambert Moore are talented seniors, and junior August Hughes could turn into a major-college recruit with his impressive 3-point shot.

Add Tyrone Caswell to the mix and, well, . . .

"All we have to do then is play defense together," Lewis said, "and we're going to be pretty tough to beat."

Thanks to lawyers, Lincoln will have Caswell in the lineup for this weekend's tournament in Rock Island, Ill. A judge will decide if he can play much beyond those games.

Wednesday afternoon, the Illinois High School Association denied an appeal by Caswell for eligibility to play at Lincoln. His lawyers secured an injunction that will enable him to play until the matter goes to court next Thursday.

Probably the best big player in the Metro East area, Caswell played at crosstown-rival East St. Louis Senior High last season, transferred in the spring to Lincoln and thereby ignited a bonfire of controversy.

The Illinois High School Association OK'd the transfer, but then later ruled that he couldn't play. Lewis and Principal John Bailey Jr. had been optimistic the IHSA would rule favorably on their appeal heard Monday.

"They can't tell us no," Lewis said Tuesday night. "They just can't. They'll have a lawsuit on their hands that no one thinks they could win."

Caswell, a 6-foot-6 forward, parlayed outstanding jumping skill and offensive abilities into Post-Dispatch All-Metro first-team honors last season with the Flyers. He has been recruited heavily but hasn't yet satisfied freshman eligibility requirements for college, so he will wait until the spring to commit.

After officials at East St. Louis Senior High issued a complaint, the IHSA ruled Caswell ineligible reportedly for not participating in a special science program at Lincoln. The IHSA listed that program as the reason for Caswell's transfer.

Lincoln provided more paperwork background for the IHSA on that front. Lewis implied the recent ruling came for other reasons, based on a rule that went into effect July 1 that gives the IHSA more power to regulate intradistrict transfers.

East St. Louis' open enrollment policy allows high school students to move between the two schools freely. Lewis said Caswell pre-registered in May to go to Lincoln and finished his junior year at East St. Louis. He said the IHSA wanted Caswell physically at Lincoln before Aug. 15, but classes didn't begin until after that date.

"He could only be at Lincoln on paper before then, not in body," Lewis said. "It's been a mess."

*****

Dialing Folkl: Volleyball and basketball All-American Kristin Folkl of St. Joseph's Academy could add a most prestigious honor next month. She has been named among the five finalists for the 1993 Dial Award, which is in its 15th year of honoring the nation's top male and female high school athlete-scholars of the year. …

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