Yesterday, Riptide debunked embattled Krop High athletic director Michael Kypriss' claim that he had never before encountered an immigration paperwork conflict of the type that recently got his boys' basketball disqualified.
Turns out, he had dealt with the same issue just last year, when the Florida High School Athletic Association investigated a Canadian-born star female tennis player.
Reached at the school, Kypriss repeated the same thing several times: "Both of those girls were cleared to play last year."
That's not exactly true. Sonya Latycheva did play -- the talented then-junior won the doubles state championship and placed second in the singles category -- but the FHSAA ruled that the school had violated rules in her three years of play by not filing the immigration paperwork.
The athletic association was lenient, classifying the lapse as a "minor" violation and fining the school $400 -- a break from the possible $2,500-per-contest levy. "Continued violations of this nature," the FHSAA noted in a memo to the school (embedded below), "may warrant additional penalties and [be] considered major infractions."
Latycheva, who has played on the professional circuit, is home-schooled, but allowed to play for Krop under FHSAA provisions. One of the top players in Florida, the senior leads a Krop juggernaut that placed third in the state last year.
In an e-mail to Riptide, Kypriss hedged blame: "Please note that [Latycheva] played her freshman and sophomore years and I was not the Athletic Director."
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When she played in money tournaments, he added, she only accepted "travel money" and not prize money. That's "permitted to maintain her amateur status," he wrote.