In the last month, Florida's number-one-ranked high school boys' basketball squad tumbled through a litigious spin cycle. Dr. Michael Krop High's team was disqualified, reinstated by a judge, and then disqualified for good for not filing proper immigration paperwork for international student Brian Delancy.
In the meantime, New Times revealed that Delancy's missing documents were the least of the team's problems. The Bahamian native and two other students — including star guard Angel Rodriguez — had registered bogus addresses with the school district, and Delancy's claimed legal guardian is actually a notorious basketball recruiter.
But it's not just the school's basketball team that seems to be suffering from a Pete Rose-esque inability to obey state athletic rules, New Times has now discovered.
In an interview with the Miami Herald two weeks ago, Krop athletic director and tennis coach Mike Kypriss claimed he had never been informed of the need to file immigration paperwork for a foreign student athlete prior to the Delancy incident.
He repeated twice: "I've never had to do it in my entire life."
But last Spring, Kypriss's female tennis team was at the center of a dispute over that exact same missing paperwork.
Acting on a tip from a rival parent, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) investigated Canadian-born star Sonya Latycheva, a homeschooled then-junior playing without proper documents. "This happened ten months ago," says exasperated FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing. "How short is his memory?"
Kypriss snapped when we reached him at work and asked about his obvious fib. "I'm at work, I'm teaching," he said, adding: "Just so you know, both those girls were cleared to play last year."
That's not particularly true either. On April 30, the FHSAA ruled that the school had violated rules during Latycheva's three years of play by not filing the immigration paperwork. The 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.
But the featherweight punishment came with a warning: "Continued violations of this nature may warrant additional penalties and [be] considered major infractions."