The top team in the state of Illinois, and the second ranked team in the nation, has a 0-25 record this season. Like, seriously, but not really. They actually were 24-1 after capturing the Chicago Public School title a couple of weeks ago (in a quadruple overtime matchup between the top two big men in the nation — Kansas-bound Cliff Alexander and Duke-bound Jahlil Okafor). But then last Friday the CPS vacated all 24 of Curie’s wins and the city title after an investigation found that seven of the players used had been academic ineligible since the start of the season. On Monday, the IHSA (Illinois High School Association) announced that Curie will be allowed to play in the state tournament despite last week’s news.
Curie and star power forward Cliff Alexander will play in the boys state basketball tournament, but the top-ranked Condors’ two best perimeter players will not.
Chicago Public Schools provided the IHSA on Monday with a list of nine players who meet the IHSA’s academic requirements, but brothers Joseph and Josh Stamps were not on it, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Curie was stripped of its city championship and 24 victories by CPS on Friday and head coach Mike Oliver was suspended for using seven players who were ruled to be ineligible by CPS standards all season.
In its written verdict Friday evening, CPS declared Curie eligible for the IHSA tournament, but the IHSA delayed a decision until speaking with CPS officials Monday.
Curie, which had 12 players on its varsity roster, maintains its top seed in the Class 4A Marist Sectional and will take on Monday night’s Argo-DuSable winner in the regional semifinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday at King.
The loss of senior guard Joseph Stamps and junior guard/forward Josh Stamps is a major blow to Curie’s chances of advancing out of the sectional, which includes No. 3 Young and No. 5 Simeon.