ESPN: Alabama high school player, Rutgers commit ruled ineligible for senior season

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Rutgers commit Maori Davenport, a senior at Charles Henderson High School in Troy, Alabama, has been ruled ineligible by the Alabama High School Athletic Association for her final season. Davenport is ranked by ESPN as a top-20 player in the Class of 2019.

According to ESPN, Davenport was ruled ineligible after Team USA sent her an $857.20 check after winning the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

Team USA often pays players small amounts during its summer programs to help them recover costs.

According to ESPN, Team USA usually contacts high school federations to make sure players are allowed to accept payments. But in this instance, there was no call made by Team USA to the AHSAA, which does not allow payments of more than $250.

Team USA realized its mistake and contacted Charles Henderson at which point Davenport returned the money in full. The AHSAA stood by its ruling despite the money being returned and Davenport’s two appeal attempts to the AHSAA district board and central board.

The AHSAA made this statement on Dec. 18, 2018 following the Central Board of Control hearing, including this quote from AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. 

“I want to thank Charles Henderson High School for its heart-felt presentation made to the Central Board,” Savarese said. “I also want to commend the Central Board for its commitment to upholding the AHSAA member-school by-laws in sometimes very difficult situations.”

The decision by the AHSAA is receiving backlash from notable figures in college basketball including ESPN analyst and College Gameday host Jay Bilas.

WRBL Sports will continue to monitor this story and provide new information as it comes available.

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