SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) - The SC High School League voted Wednesday to allow Dorman High School’s boys basketball team to participate in the Geico High School Nationals tournament in New York City in April.

More than 4,000 people signed an online petition asking for the team allowed be travel to New York and participate in the tournament, which under the current by-laws and rules of SCHSL membership, is not allowed.

The Change.org petition, which is now closed, read as follows:

“For the first time in South Carolina basketball history we have a team presented with the opportunity to play in the Geico National Championship in New York City.  Due to current regulations on when teams are allowed the play, the boys are being denied this opportunity to showcase their hard work on the national level.  Playing in this tournament would offer many student athletes on the team an opportunity to be seen for recruitment by multiple college coaches.  Not only does this one tournament present the opportunity to further playing opportunities for the athletes, allow student athletes to be seen on the nation level, and offer a once in a lifetime travel opportunity to New York; it allows spectators on the national level to see first hand Coach Ryan's awesome light blue and Navy blue plaid sports coat.  The great state of South Carolina deserves the opportunity to showcase our immense athletic talents to the nation.  

Please help make South Carolina Sports Great Again by signing this petition.” 

Tammy Newman, a spokesperson for the SCHSL, released this statement on Feb. 5:

“In the matter concerning Dorman High School’s potential invitation to a national competition, the South Carolina High School League wishes to clarify their decision and the process for denying the request.

Commissioner Jerome Singleton is obligated to follow the rules brought forth, voted on and approved by the SCHSL membership. In addition to the By-law that prohibits out of state post season play, the potential opportunity would also take place during a closed season which does not allow for practices or contests. The following By-law, Rules and Regulations were approved by the league membership and we are adhering to it:

By-Laws

Article 4 Section 6

No Participation will be allowed in an out of state game that is construed as a post season or bowl game.

Rules and Regulations:

Defined Sports Seasons - Page 8

Open/Closed Season Practice Schedule. Page 9

Commissioner Singleton states, “We regret the public misconception brought about from the denial of Dorman High School’s request to participate in an unsanctioned national competition. It is my duty to follow the Rules and Regulations as well as By-laws set forth by the SCHSL membership. As always, member schools are provided the opportunity to present their appeal to the Executive Committee for further review and possible override of the rules. We are proud of the Dorman High basketball team’s accomplishments thus far this season.”

Dorman High has been notified of the decision and provided the opportunity to present an appeal to the SCHSL Executive Committee on February 12, 2020. A public notice will be issued 24 hours in advance of the meeting with start times for each appeal.

By-Laws       http://schsl.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/By-laws-19-20.pdf

Rules and Regulations http://schsl.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Rules-Section-19-20-final.pdf

The appeal meeting was held in Columbia on Wednesday. Dorman presented their case and the vote was 17-0 in favor of letting the team participate.

Click here to read more about the Geico national tournament.

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