District investigation alleges Riverside Poly boys’ basketball violated CIF rules

Closeup of a basketball.
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The CIF Southern Section office received an investigative report from the Riverside Unified School District in December detailing multiple violations of CIF rules involving the Riverside Poly High boys’ basketball program.

The Southern Section announced on Wednesday that Poly has been put on probation, won’t be allowed to participate in this season’s playoffs and will have to forfeit all games for four seasons from 2018-19 through 2021-2022.

According to an executive summary reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, former head coach Yancy Dodson “admitted that since 2018, he and other members of the local youth basketball community participated in a scheme to submit fake documents to the district to establish residency within the boundaries at Poly.”

A message left on Dodson’s voicemail seeking comment was not returned.

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One parent confirmed Thursday that Dodson assigned an address in the Poly attendance boundary to the family so their son could be admitted and that the address was apparently used more than once.

The report states that “Dodson claimed he did not believe his actions violated CIF eligibility rules for student transfers to Poly or the district.”

Dodson left as coach at the end of last season and is still a teacher in the district. The report states that “there was no credible evidence” that principal Darel Hansen or athletic director Jim Vaughan participated in the scheme to bring ineligible students to Poly.

Poly went 23-6 last season with a strong group of freshmen that has since disbanded. The team is 17-10 this season.

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A Riverside Unified School District spokeswoman said in an email Thursday that “based on student and employee privacy rights, the District is not providing further details at this time. The District has taken appropriate corrective actions intended to prevent a recurrence of the rules violations.”

An earlier statement from Riverside Unified stated, “The District strives to uphold all CIF rules and took proactive steps to notify CIF of the allegations and the ongoing investigation, offering assurances that we do not condone violations of CIF rules.”