(3-26-18) So how does a 2018 D III State Boys Basketball State Title champion avoid the OHSAA’s new Competitive Balance Plan with nine transfers? That’s a very good question.

OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association) Director of Communications Tim Stried, in a January (2018) cincinnati.com story, acknowledged this week that nine transfers to Deer Park had been cleared to play. Stried says Deer Park reached out to the OHSAA back in the fall and there is no current investigation into the situation open.

“A list of nine names has been checked by the OHSAA and we worked with Deer Park administrators. We don’t have any issues with their eligibility at this time.”

Checking out the division assignments for this season Deer Park had no adjustments to their enrollment under the new competitive balance plan that was used for the first time this year.

Points that concern many around the state –

  • Deer Park Press Release when Steve Gentry was hired as head coach in 2016 —“Coach Gentry is also very active in AAU basketball and coaches teams that compete across the country.” . Many believed the players were recruited to play for Gentry at Deer Park.
  • 3-66 record the last three years before Gentry was hired, 11-13 in his first season last year and now 29-0 and a state title
  • Only three players on this team played the season before, all three were considered the best players on that team –  Jalen Rose (Sr),  Ibrahima Athie (Jr) and Mark Wise (Soph).
  • The rest of the roster is new including Damani McEntire (Sr) and his brother Deshaun (Soph).  Damani McEntire played two seasons at Decatur (Ind) Central and last year at national prep school power Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. How did they end up in the Cincinnati area?
  • Last season Gentry’s son Steven Gentry Jr (Soph) played at Purcell Marian

After the win over Columbus Africentric 67-57 Sophomore Guard Mark Wise told wcpo.com:

“It’s been a lot of love for us, but there has been a lot of hate. We’re trying to take the love and go with it. We haven’t been really listening to the hate. Now, we can throw this in their face, baby. We’re getting a ring.”

In a recent court hearing the OHSAA in the Dayton Dunbar boys basketball eligibility issues and being kicked out of the tournament and then losing the hearing in court that allowed the Wolverines back in, a revelation came out from that case and how it was handled.

The investigation process is far from being pristine-

Caroline Reinwald