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The Maryland GreenHawks are staying in-house for their next leader. This morning the beleaguered minor league basketball squad named assistant coach Chad Warren as its latest head coach.

Warren becomes the fourth head coach for a team that has only played seven games in its Premier Basketball League history. Previous coach Otis Hailey died of kidney failure over the weekend, just two games after taking the job.

“I’m going to make the best of this situation and continue where Otis left off,” Warren said.

Warren’s first game as head coach of the 2-5 GreenHawks will come Thursday against the Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry.

Assuming he’s still on the job, that is.

One more note about Hailey: With previous jobs in his long run as minor basketball league coach, Hailey identified himself as the father of Jermaine Haley, an NFL and CFL veteran whose playing career ended in 2004 with the Washington Redskins. In his two years with the Skins, Haley recorded one sack and one DUI.


T.C. Williams boys basketball team has forfeited all its wins this year for using two fifth-year seniors.

For competitive and safety reasons, school administrators pretty much everywhere in the entire country ban fifth-year seniors from playing sports.

Except in Michelle Rhee’s school system!

(AFTER THE JUMP: Michelle Rhee allows redshirting athletes? Really? Chavez administrators get their licks in? Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones to re-enact the greatest fight in D.C. history? The greatest fight in D.C. history really sucked? Remember Ricky Ervins?)

Rhee has flip-flopped a few times about fifth-year seniors over the last few years. When she first took over DCPS, her first job running a school system, she said fifth-year seniors were allowed to play. Then officials from all local school sports leagues in the area and even coaches from DCIAA, the city’s public school league, informed her that allowing fifth year seniors would get DC teams banned from playing teams from any other jurisdiction. So she quietly backed off.

But a couple weeks ago I wrote about a fifth-year senior now playing for Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School who was sanctioned by DCPS to play. And after much delay, Rhee’s spokesperson Jennifer Calloway explained via email that the chancellor “currently allows students to play a fifth season if they have not participated all 5 years.”

In other words: All athletic redshirts are again welcome in D.C.!

Perhaps this week the banished T.C. Williams players will find a DCPS school where they can finish out the season. Think that sounds ridiculous? Well, try nailing down exactly what eligibility rules Michelle Rhee plays by, and get back to me.

The local Catholic League, WACA, bans its schools from playing leagues where fifth-year seniors are allowed. DCPS and WACA are supposed to renew their City Title basketball game later this month.

Rhee’s restated welcoming of redshirts could put that game in jeopardy.


After my column on fifth-year seniors ran, Chavez athletic director Ernesto Natera and basketball Coach Malcolm Battle called to tell me they didn’t like it. First, they didn’t like their school being the main focus of a story about using fifth-year players, while a high-profile redshirted athlete at O’Connell only got a small mention in the column.

“It goes on everywhere,” Battle said. “Everywhere.”

The T.C. Williams forfeits don’t prove their point, but now we know it goes on in Alexandria. And, from talking to coaches over the years, I would bet they’re right.

Both Battle and Natera pointed out that the only reason I found out about their fifth-year player was because they were honest and reported to the charter schools league and to Michelle Rhee’s athletics office before the season that they intended to use him.

That is accurate. The T.C. Williams situation seems to indicate that some combination of players, coaches and administrators tried to hide the fifth-year status and got caught. Battle and Natera insist ineligible players are covertly playing all over the place. Chavez officials never tried to hide anything.

Chavez officials were very open with the charter school league about their desire to play a fifth-year player. That league bans fifth-year players, so Chavez pulled out of the league. I told them I had never heard of a team leaving a league for one player of any sort. Besides, Chavez’ fifth-year player was named player of the year in the charter school league by the Washington Post last year, and was identified as a senior by the paper in getting the award. That made it impossible to hide him.

Natera and Battle also told me I shouldn’t have named the Chavez fifth-year player in my story without talking to him. They’re right.


Talk about guys too old for their sport…Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins are going to fight again.

Jones and Hopkins already fought once, here in D.C. in 1993.

On paper, all these years later, it looks like the greatest fight to ever take place in the District: On May 22, 1993 at RFK Stadium, Roy Jones defeated Bernard Hopkins by unanimous decision. Only Joe Louis vs. Buddy Baer, before 35,000 at Griffith Stadium on May 23, 1941, comes close.

Jones, 41, went on to be perhaps the fighter of the decade, winning four belts in weights from middleweight to heavyweight. Hopkins, however, not only didn’t go away after losing to Jones, he just kept getting better. Now 45, he won titles in the middleweight and light heavyweight ranks.

But that night at RFK, there was no sense of history whatsoever. Jones/Hopkins I was a lousy fight. Jones won by unanimous decision, with wide margins on every judge’s card. Also, the fight was on the undercard of locally based heavyweight champ Riddick Bowe‘s bout with journeyman Jesse Ferguson, and folks only cared for the headliners.

My best memory of the goings on while Jones and Hopkins were trading blows was a gang of drunks in the stadium taunting a young Brian Mitchell, then in his second year with the Redskins, by repeatedly calling him “Ricky Ervin.” Mitchell, in a tux, took it well.

A boxing guru I consulted last night confirmed my recollection that the first Jones/Hopkins fight was a snorer, and he’s not real keen the rematch will be better. “You think there’ll be random blood tests for prune juice?” he asked.

In other words: Bring on Pacquiao/Mayweather!


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