Ocean View Fires Coach; Two Players on Team Are Ineligible

Times Staff Writer

Basketball Coach Jim Harris of Ocean View, the Southern Section 5-A runner-up, was relieved of his coaching duties Wednesday and two players were declared ineligible following a three-month Huntington Beach Union High School District investigation of complaints that the coach ran an unethical program.

Ocean View Principal John Myers said the team would forfeit its Sunset League championship and relinquish its runner-up plaque "if the CIF deems it appropriate." Ocean View finished the season with a 24-4 record.

In a prepared statement Wednesday, Myers said: "As a result of a thorough investigation conducted by the Huntington Beach Union High School District office, it was discovered that two members of the 1984-85 boys varsity basketball team were ineligible. Therefore, I have notified Sunset League officials that Ocean View High will forfeit all games won by the boys' varsity basketball team. In conclusion, there will be changes in the coaching staff."

Myers refused to identify the ineligible players, but it was learned that they were Lynwood sophomore transfers Ricky Butler and Desi Hazely.

Butler and Hazely have lived with Harris and his family at El Toro for the last seven months under the approval of their parents. They originally left their parents' homes in the southeast Los Angeles city of Lynwood under the care of a guardian, Laurant Brown, a La Canada landscape architect who met the two players while coaching his son's youth basketball team.

Myers said he received the results of the district's investigation on March 14. Harris reportedly met with Myers and district officials last week, accompanied by an attorney.

Harris was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

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