by Bill Sloat
at 09:43 AM | Permalink
State athletic association says she can’t play for Winton Woods after moving to suburbs
Hamilton County judge plans to hold an emergency hearing next week that
will allow Alexxus Paige to challenge a rule that has kept the star
guard from playing her senior year at Winton Woods High School.Last month, the Ohio High School Athletic Association declared her ineligible for the current basketball season. It says her family’s move into the suburban school district was not for “bona fide” reasons; it was solely to play basketball. A
lawsuit filed by Paige’s mother, Vivian Watkins, contends
Withrow High School opposed the transfer and filed an inaccurate complaint that led to the ban. OHSAA has not yet filed its formal response in the case. Court
officials told CityBeat its lawyer has been in touch with the judge and
indicated it will fight to keep Paige from playing high school hoops.
The 18-year-old Paige is a 5-foot-7 guard who is one of Cincinnati’s top female athletes. A post-high school college scholarship might be hanging in the balance of the court case. She
was all-conference for the past three seasons in the Cincinnati Metro
Athletic Conference, the league which includes most of the city’s public
urban high schools. (Clark Montessori and Walnut Hills are the two city schools that are in different leagues). Three years worth of Paige’s stats are available by clicking here.
County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman has scheduled a Dec. 4 hearing
on a request for a temporary injunction that would lift the OHSAA ban
and allow Paige to play. The
basketball player’s mom — who is acting as her own lawyer in the case —
says legitimate family issues led to the move outside the city. The
mom contends the OHSAA has refused to consider evidence showing her
daughter transferred to Winton Woods because the mom’s marriage broke
down and she moved into a suburban apartment with her two children.
Watkins looked for apartments that would fit her budget and a decent
community to reside in,” the mom wrote in the lawsuit against the OHSAA. “She looked all over and finally found a place in May of 2012. Since
Alexxus was moving with her it would have been hard to transport
Alexxus back and forth to Withrow High School, so it was decided that
Alexxus would attend Winton Woods High School which is closer to Alexxus
place of residence.”The state rule is designed to hamper schools from recruiting star athletes to pump up their sports programs. In
the past, there have been allegations that players enrolled in schools
where they did not actually reside, or had temporarily “moved” in order
to improve a team.North
College Hill was dogged for years over rumors it recruited O.J. Mayo and
Bill Walker for its state championship hoops teams. Both are now in the NBA: Walker plays for the New York Knicks and Mayo is with the Memphis Grizzlies.