Diggs' appearance leaves questions to be answered

Sidelines

February 16, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

There were a lot of surprised people, including athletic director Fred Stauffer, Friday at Annapolis for the Panthers' showdown with rival Broadneck.

Returning Anne Arundel County Player of the Year Germaine "Boo" Diggs of Annapolis was believed to be academically ineligible as of Tuesday, but was dressed for the Broadneck game and played in his team's 56-53 loss.

Diggs was in street clothes sitting on the Annapolis bench at Severna Park on Tuesday, the day report cards were issued. The senior standout was believed to be among the nearly 20 percent of ineligible boys basketball players (below 2.00 grade-point average) around the county.

Stauffer confirmed Thursday that Diggs was on the school's academic probation list (can practice but not play in games for 15 school days and GPA must be lifted to 2.00) list and would be out until the regional playoffs.

"I was shocked when I heard he was playing," Stauffer said yesterday. "I can't find out how he was made eligible, but I intend to look into it first thing Monday.

"Obviously some teacher changed his grades because he was definitely on our list [of ineligibles]. I don't think we're teaching the kids the right thing by doing this [changing grades]. I know for a fact that he [Diggs] was going around begging teachers to change his grades."

Apparently, John Brady, the Panthers' basketball coach, who is also the school's academic adviser, approved Diggs to play.

When told Stauffer had confirmed that Diggs was ineligible, Annapolis assistant coach Calvin Vain said, "Boo wasn't ineligible. He had a wrist injury on Tuesday."

Tie might be fitting end

It's conceivable that Anne Arundel County boys basketball could end up with a pair of division ties after the last regular-season games on Friday. The division winners, which would then have to determined by tie-breakers, will play for the county championship Feb. 25.

In the south, defending county champion and No. 8 Broadneck (16-4, 7-1) plays host to No. 10 Arundel (16-4, 6-2) 7: 30 p.m. Tuesday at Anne Arundel Community College. We're not using the term "big game" lightly when we say this is truly a big game.

The winner would be in position to take the south division championship.

If Broadneck, a 63-54 winner over the Wildcats at Arundel Jan. 7 wins again, the Bruins will earn the opportunity to defend their title.

An Arundel win puts the two teams in a tie for first (7-2 each) with one game left on Friday: Broadneck taking on Severna Park (12-8, 3-5) at Anne Arundel Community College and Arundel at home vs. South River (7-13, 1-7).

Severna Park upset the Bruins, 53-50 on Jan. 10, but an encore might be a little much for the Falcons with a championship berth at stake for Broadneck. Arundel had little trouble with South River in their first meeting winning, 75-42.

Assuming Broadneck and Arundel each win their final game and finish deadlocked at 8-2 each in south division play, we go to the county tie-breaking criteria.

Since both teams would have 14-2 records in the county, the first tie-breaker, Arundel would be the division winner based on most overall wins. Arundel would finish 18-4 and Broadneck would be 17-5.

Shifting to the north, an 8-2 division tie there is meaningless. Chesapeake (10-10, 7-1) paces the north and visits runner-up and defending north champion Old Mill (8-12, 6-2) Tuesday.

Chesapeake actually wrapped up the division with last Tuesday's 60-53 triumph over North County barring what would be the upset of the year if it lost its final game to winless (in league) Northeast.

An Old Mill victory on Tuesday and subsequent victories by both on Friday: Chesapeake at home vs. Northeast (3-17, 0-8) and Old Mill is home against North County (8-12, 4-4), would leave the Patriots and Cougars 8-2 each in division play.

Chesapeake would then claim the division by tiebreaker No. 1 -- most county league wins. The Cougars of coach John Spinnenweber, who are battling for the school's first-ever winning season, defeated south teams Severna Park, by 70-69, and South River, 50-40, while Old Mill dropped all six cross-division games it played.

Pub Date: 2/16/97

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