(4-14-17) NJ.com has taken an in-depth look at the Paterson Eastside girls and boys basketball programs and the violations that have happened over the past several years with the influx of international students. The entire situation has now turned into a soap opera.

The impact of all of this could change New Jersey High School sports for a long time, it’s a case of winning at all-cost, not just recruiting kids but bringing in international players without proper paperwork.  It’s something that is not good for high school sports.

Details according to NJ.com-

Paterson Eastside

Paterson boys and girls basketball teams have included:

*13 players from Nigeria, Paraguay and Puerto Rico over the past six years.

*The recruitment of those players, many of whom lived with coaches and other district employees, brought the allegations of human trafficking.

Every NJ private school basketball power:

*has at least one African player, including St. Benedict’s Prep, Blair Academy, Roselle Catholic, Pope John, Hudson Catholic, Bergen Catholic and St. Mary’s of Elizabeth.

*This year’s State Tournament of Champions winner and New jersey’s No. 1-ranked team, the Patrick School:

*four international players from South Sudan, Angola and Jamaica.

A state-funded investigation of the issue was paid for by New Jersey tax-payers. The report was authored by former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice John Wallace.  Even the report made some state officials upset, saying it missed the point:

From nj.com:

NJ State Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex)

“That’s pathetic. It was human trafficking at its worst. They used them for basketball for their own self-interests. It is what it is and it should have been called what it is. And I think the taxpayers of the state or city should ask for a refund.”

Despite the concerns of Codey  on the report, the the Paterson Board of Education just fired Boys Head Coach Juan Griles and his assistant Alberto Maldonado, Gregory Cooper as athletic director, suspended Girls Head Coach Ray Lyde for at least one year as girls team coach and fired part-time secretary Patty Granados from her part-time work in student registration.

Eastside principal says he is 100 percent in support of his fired colleagues

Is the issue resolved?  Not based on the reaction of the report after it was released and that it did not hold the coaches responsible for any of the violations of the state athletic association and school district policies.

After the allegations came out, Eastside school officials decided to  pull out of this year’s state tournament. the Ghosts (yes that’s their mascot) boys basketball team finished the season 17-5, while the girls team was 12-6.

NJ.com stories –