CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - A COVID controversy is keeping a popular high school basketball team off the court.
Miami-Dade Public Schools ruled that Coral Gables Senior High’s basketball team must forfeit Saturday’s playoff game.
The decision came because the team played last week against Christopher Columbus High School, where positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported.
To abide by the M-DCPS regulations, the Coral Gables team has to wait 14 days before being allowed to play again, despite the fact that none of their players or coaching staff have tested positive for the virus.
“All of our coaches and players tested negative. We produced all that information to the school board,” said Marcos Molina, the parent of a Coral Gables Senior High student. “Today, at 4 o’clock, two hours before game time, we were told that we were not able to participate and eliminated from the state series playoff.”
Unlike Coral Gables, Columbus, an all-boys private school, does not have to abide by the 14-day window, meaning the Columbus team is allowed to continue playing.
Molina said the Gables team was forced to quarantine after three Columbus players tested positive.
GMAC & District Champ Coral Gables HS BBall was forced by @MDCPS to forfeit game Sat vs. Palmetto bc of #COVID19 exposure at Columbus. Columbus is PLAYING @ Ferguson tonight. CG is urging to play their game after all players tested negative per source. @miamidadebb @Hoop_MIA pic.twitter.com/dC5kBiZMaJ
— Josh Moser (@TheMozKnowz) February 21, 2021
Molina said that all he and the Gables team want is to be allowed to play in the next round on Monday and for their team to be treated fairly.
In a video that was posted online, team members pleaded to the school district to allow them to play.
“I think we need a chance to play at the regional quarter finals to have a chance for colleges to look at us,” said team member Rokny Fragoso, a senior, “especially for us who can’t afford colleges … and especially I want to see my friends go to college that I’ve been playing with since we were kids.”
The team has until Tuesday to play their next game, or the won’t be able to move forward in the playoffs.
An M-DCPS spokesperson issued a statement that reads, “To ensure the well-being of students and employees, Miami-Dade County Public Schools continues to follow all [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines related to the quarantining of individuals. To assist student athletes, the District requested approval from the Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) for game schedule changes for impacted teams. Although the FHSAA was willing to consider the request, there were other schools outside the District that could not accommodate changing their scheduled games. Despite our attempts, this matter is now unfortunately beyond our control. This is not the outcome we hoped for and empathize with the players who will not be able to participate in these playoffs.”
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