Central Section commissioner Jim Crichlow said he made a mistake and hopes that his quick resolve can hopefully right wrongs made.
Last Thursday, Crichlow’s office deemed Bakersfield Christian boys basketball player Kadar Waller ineligible, based on information from an anonymous letter.
The letter, which has since been obtained by The Californian, made claims to illegal recruiting by BCHS coach Kyle Shiloh and that the Waller family falsified a full family move.
The letter indicated that the family never moved out of a house in the Liberty boundaries, where Waller went to school his first three years before transferring to BCHS.
Crichlow stated that he met with parents and administrators from BCHS on Monday and deemed the information provided in the letter to be unsubstantiated and Waller’s eligibility was reinstated Tuesday morning.
“They were not living in the house indicated in the letter,” Crichlow said. “So after getting all of those questions answerd, I wanted to get him back out here as quickly as possible.”
Crichlow also expressed remorse for the rush to judgement on his decision to deem Waller ineligible, but said he did it to ensure BCHS and the basketball team would not have to forfeit more games had it been correct that he was not eligible to play.
“I think it was probably poorly done on my end for not going more into detail initially,” Crichlow said. “This one got pushed off the back burner and to help the school, I made the decision. I could have done a better job. I did all I could, but I am glad we went forward and reviewed it. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I just wanted to ratify it.”
Waller did not play in Friday’s home game against Tehachapi, He will start on Wednesday as BCHS is at Ridgeview at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s unfortunate. Without going into detail,” Shiloh said. “I am glad it’s all fixed and the kid gets to finish out his senior season. I will say that our administration and the parents did great during all of this.”
Waller returned to practice as soon as the verdict was complete.
“BCHS is thankful to (Crichlow) for his scrutiny of this matter and for, appropriately, restoring Waller’s eligibility,” BCHS athletic director Blake Van Der Schaaf said in a prepared statement.
The Eagles are 19-4 overall and 7-1 in South Yosemite League play. BCHS is tied atop the league standings with Independence with three games left in the regular season. BCHS hosts Independence on Friday.
“(Waller) was amazing. I thought he was going to break. As a teenage kid, he could have done badly,” Shiloh said. “He has been upbeat through the whole process. He looks hungry and wants to take all of his frustration out on the basketball court.”
Aside from being without Waller in the team's loss to West, the Eagles were also without junior forward Ben Yurosek because of a hip injury. With Waller and Yurosek back in the lineup this week, Shiloh said he feels the Eagles are back at full strength heading into the Division IV playoffs that begin on Feb. 14.