IHSA sanctions Naperville Central for multiple violations of transfer bylaws

The Illinois High School Association has sanctioned the Naperville Central High School football team for violations of its transfer bylaws, Naperville Unit District 203 announced Wednesday, adding the district and Naperville Central High School accept full responsibility for these violations.

Based on an initial student-athlete eligibility ruling by the IHSA in March, Naperville 203 launched an investigation on April 19 into the transfer, guardianship and residency practices at Naperville Central High School and have since discovered multiple IHSA transfer bylaw violations since 2018. The violations include failing to collect and maintain required transfer documentation in accordance with IHSA Bylaws 3.030 and 3.040.

The violations have resulted in the forfeiture of Naperville Central football games encompassing all wins in the 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, totaling 17 competitions in which ineligible players participated. At least one ineligible player competed in basketball games during the 2018-19 season resulting in an additional four forfeited games.

Under 15th-year head coach Mike Stine, who retired at the end of the 2021 spring season, the Redhawks were 17-11 during that span, including 6-0 this past spring.

“Naperville 203 has worked closely with IHSA to investigate the specifics of these violations and has accepted the outcome of the rulings,” said Craig Anderson, Executive Director of the IHSA. “We are confident that district administration now has measures in place to rectify this situation.”

Naperville 203 has implemented revised procedures and training within the centralized enrollment and high school athletic offices to prevent eligibility violations from occurring. IHSA is working closely with the administration and will provide training for specific staff on its bylaws that govern all member schools.

“Any violation of IHSA Policies is unacceptable,” said Dan Bridges, Superintendent of Schools, Naperville 203. “Naperville 203 and Naperville Central High School assume full responsibility for the errors and the subsequent punishment outlined by IHSA. We apologize for the negative impact on the student-athletes, families, and community.”