Hamilton County judge ordered the Ohio State High School Athletic
Association to back off a last-minute decision that blocked Walnut Hills
senior Dontonio Wingfield Jr. from playing basketball this season.Walnut Hills is the top-ranked large high school program in Southwest Ohio this year.Judge
Robert Ruehlmann said the OHSAA previously ruled Wingfield eligible
under school transfer guidelines and should not have suddenly reversed
course at the last minute.He described the Nov. 29 decision as a total change that came out of the blue.
“I granted a
restraining order that said he can play, and now there is agreement he
can play,” Ruehlmann told CityBeat on Tuesday after an emergency hearing on
the dispute.“He is eligible and we’re done.The OHSAA has worked things out with his attorneys.It is over.He is playing.”
Wingfield is the son of former University of Cincinnati Bearcats star Dontonio Wingfield, who left the university for the NBA after a single season.
Wingfield Jr. is considered a the top prep shooting guard in Ohio this year.He has verbally committed to attend Ohio University in Athens.
officials, who in August told Walnut Hills there was no problem with
Wingfield’s eligibility, notified the school by email last week that he
used up his transfer options when he moved from Summit Country Day to
Lockland High School.His lawyer, Terence R. Coates, said there has been some inadvertent paperwork errors involving transfer rules.
planned to attend a four-year college and felt the academic regiment at
Walnut Hills wouild best prepare him for being successful in college.His transfer was not motivated by athletics,’’ Coates said.He called the OHSAA ruling that made Dontonio ineligible “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable."
the hearing on another student athlete, Winton Woods female guard
Alexxus M. Paige, was delayed until Dec. 7 on procedural issues.Judge
Ruehlmann said there is a likelihood the case might be settled by
having Paige return to Withrow High School to finish her senior season
this year.She had transferred to Winton Woods because of family issues.OHSAA ruled her ineligible for a year.