Mount Hebron officials have admitted that the school's girls basketball team -- currently in first place in Howard County and ranked 10th in the area -- violated state and local practice rules and likely will be told today it will have to forfeit two league victories.
The Rules and Infractions Committee -- Wilde Lake principal Bonnie Daniel, Atholton athletic director Don Van Deusen and Glenelg's girls basketball coach Randy Wallenhorst -- will meet today at 11 a.m. to decide Mount Hebron's fate. Mount Hebron principal Adrian Kaufman will attend.
"We made a mistake and we reported it and I'm very comfortable with that," said Kaufman. "I feel we did the right thing."
Said Mount Hebron athletic director Mark Cates: "Mount Hebron's girls basketball program violated both local and state practice rules. We self-reported it and take full responsibility."
It is against state rules to play or practice on Sundays, and Mount Hebron (9-4, 6-1) did so on Jan. 7 and 14. It also broke a local rule when it conducted a practice Jan. 11 when school officially was closed during the blizzard.
According to state regulations, a penalty must be given to the team and to its coach and/or player involved in the violation. Because Mount Hebron had two Sunday practices, it is expected that it will have to forfeit the two games after the infractions -- a 55-48 win over Glenelg and a 45-42 victory over Centennial.
Mount Hebron second-year coach Pat Becker faces some kind of penalty.
The committee's ruling will be sent to Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association. He can except it or modify it.
Here is Becker's explanation of what happened on one Sunday:
"The gym was open. Less than half the team was there and they shot around. There were parents there and a lot of kids from other schools. There were close to 100 people there. I sat on the sideline and worked on some stats for a few minutes and left. I did not have a whistle. We did not have practice.
"I told the kids I couldn't talk to them and I didn't talk to them and I thought that was OK. I have since found out that I shouldn't have been in the building. That being in the building constitutes a practice. That's what I've been told."
Mount Hebron reported the violations to county Coordinator of Athletics Don Disney on Monday. Cates had investigated the matter earlier when "a fellow athletic director called me and notified me about the allegations."
Individual statistics will remain intact. That's good news for Alisha Mosley, who became the eighth Mount Hebron player to top the 1,000-point mark when she scored 33 points against Centennial.
"I'm not going to penalize any of the kids because of this," Disney said.