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Fairfield Prep basketball on CIAC probation for 'sportsmanship' issues

Updated 12:38 pm, Wednesday, May 7, 2014
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Fairfield Prep's basketball program has been placed on probation by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for the 2014-15 season for "sportsmanship-related issues," CIAC media relations director Joel Cookson confirmed Tuesday.

The CIAC's Board of Control approved the motion after considering a "report from a member school principal on addressing sportsmanship concerns at the CIAC basketball championships," a report released Tuesday stated. The BOC met last Thursday.

Probation, in this instance, merely is a warning to Prep. Further discipline would be considered by the CIAC only if there is a repeat incident.

"It's saying, `We're concerned about it, try to prevent it from happening again,' " Cookson said.

Cookson said last month, prior to receiving a report from Prep, that the locker room the Jesuits used at Mohegan Sun Arena for the Class LL boys basketball championship had to be "extensively cleaned."

Prep lost to Central 76-73 in the final on March 22. Prep, which finished with a final overall record of 27-1, sustained its first loss of the season in the title game and had been rated No. 1 in Connecticut throughout the season in a statewide poll.

Prep players were visibly upset after the game. The post-game tradition in CIAC championship basketball games is for the losing team's captains and head coach to receive the runner-up trophy. Only coach Prep coach Leo Redgate was courtside for the presentation. The players had left the court and had returned to the locker room.

Redgate declined comment Tuesday. Athletic Director Steve Donahue did not return a message seeking comment.

On Wednesday, Prep's administration decided to add a statement on the matter to its website.

The statement said: "Fairfield Prep is deeply affected by the negative press concerning events associated with the state championship basketball game. We have investigated and are addressing the show of unsportsmanlike conduct. Where warranted, we have taken appropriate action with regard to behavior that we consider contrary to our values. We take any criticism seriously and see it as an opportunity for self-reflection and improvement.

"Moving forward, Fairfield Prep is committed to full compliance with this action by (the) CIAC, and will continue to take steps to ensure that all aspects of our interscholastic sports programs reflect our overall values and mission as a Jesuit, Catholic school of excellence."

The headline on the webpage was entitled: "Prep response to CIAC action concerning basketball probation."

A staff report was included

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