Inglewood Suspends Hart Pending Investigation


Jason Hart, a basketball player at Inglewood High and one of the area’s top prospects, has been suspended from athletics pending a review of his eligibility. School administrators are investigating whether he is improperly enrolled.

Hart, a senior, transferred from Westchester to Inglewood last summer, but, according to Southern Section Commissioner Dean Crowley, did not follow California Interscholastic Federation rules for transferring. Students changing schools must either move into the new school’s district or obtain a special permit to gain athletic eligibility.

According to Deborah Hart, the player’s mother, Hart moved from her home to live with his brother, Richard Hart, in Inglewood. Deborah Hart lives in South-Central Los Angeles.


To be eligible after moving, Jason would have had to receive a hardship waiver from the Southern Section and had a change in legal guardianship. According to Crowley, neither was done.

“We don’t have any paperwork from Inglewood regarding the Jason Hart transfer,” Crowley said. “Nothing special was requested.”

Crowley began investigating the matter Tuesday morning and expects to have a decision concerning Hart’s eligibility this week.

“I met with their principal for an hour Tuesday and expect their full cooperation,” Crowley said. “They’ve already suspended the kid, so I think they’re taking this matter seriously.”

Inglewood is 14-1 and is ranked No. 5 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports. If Hart is declared ineligible, the team could have to forfeit 13 victories. Hart, a 6-foot-2 guard who is leading the team in scoring with a 21-point average, sat out a victory last month because of flu.

Inglewood Coach Patrick Roy said he was unaware that Hart may be improperly enrolled.

“It’s not my job to find out where the players live,” Roy said. “I’ve never been to Jason’s house, and I just assumed he’s living where he said he’s living. If the kid lied about his address, that’s up to school administrators to find out.”


Kenneth Crowe, Inglewood’s principal, said he had no reason to question Hart’s eligibility.

“We have 2,000 students here, and when they enroll we don’t go out and make sure they’re living where they say they’re living,” Crowe said. “Jason must have satisfied our enrollment supervisor, so there was no need to be suspicious. If records were falsified, then we’ll look into it.”

Asked if she was informed of the rules when her son transferred, Deborah Hart said she couldn’t remember what she was told.

Hart signed a letter of intent with Syracuse in November but has still not academically qualified for the scholarship.

“Let’s be honest, sports is more like a business these days, even on the high school level,” Jason Hart said last month. “I don’t necessarily agree with the [business aspect], but I’m caught up in it and I have to play along.”