February 25, 2010

Stags lose their top player

TOM CHARD

— By

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Staff photo by Derek Davis: Indiana Faithfull of Cheverus is fouled by Portland's Joe Zukowki as he drives to the basket at the Expo. Photographed on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.

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Staff Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette: South Portland's Jon DiBiase looks for an open man as he is guarded by Indiana Faithfull of Cheverus Friday Jan. 22, 2010.

Additional Photos Below

Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Indiana Faithfull's high school basketball career is over.

Cheverus' All-State guard from Australia was declared ineligible Friday by a Maine Principals' Association rule that says student-athletes are limited to eight consecutive semesters of eligibility.

Faithfull's eight semesters of eligibility began when he started high school in Australia in January 2006, according to the MPA. Faithfull used an equivalent of three semesters before transferring to Cheverus in the fall of 2007. He had five semesters left when he arrived, and those ran out Monday when the school's second semester began. Faithfull's last game was last Saturday night against Biddeford.

Cheverus wasn't aware of the problem until last week when Coach Bob Brown checked Faithfull's academic records.

Athletic Director Gary Hoyt said the difference in the school calendar between Australia and the United States was partly to blam for the oversight.

Faithfull is a 6-foot-3 Division I college prospect and the unquestioned leader of the Stags, who at 15-0 are the state's only undefeated Class A boys' team.

''I had been getting a lot of questions from college and prep school coaches asking what kind of grades Indy has,'' said Brown.

''I told them I couldn't tell them exactly. So I went through his files and discovered it. I brought it to (Hoyt's) attention and asked if my assumptions were correct.''

Cheverus then asked the MPA for further clarification.

''We didn't want to risk the chance of any violations,'' said Hoyt. ''Indiana has been an exemplary student-athlete and is an innocent victim of this rule.

''While we are very disappointed by the unintended consequences of the well-intentioned rule limiting athletes to eight consecutive semesters of eligibility, we are also fully supportive of the MPA's interpretation.''

Hoyt said Faithfull is still a student at the school and plans to complete his academic requirements for graduation.

''Cheverus is to be commended for their swift investigation and action concerning the student- athlete's completion of athletic eligibility,'' said Richard Durost, the executive director of the MPA, in a statement.

''As soon as Cheverus determined that there might be an issue, they were in immediate contact with the MPA office, asking for clarification of the MPA eight-semester rule and implementing that rule without complaint.''

Without Faithfull, the upcoming Western Class A tournament just might have gotten a little tighter.

''There's no question the dynamics of our team have changed,'' said Brown.

''Indy is one of the two or three best players in the state. You don't lose a player like that and not be affected. Fortunately I have great kids who play together as a team.''

Mark Karter, coach of second-ranked Westbrook, has had one of his top players, Dominic Borelli, in and out of the lineup with a injured knee.

''Whenever you lose a player like Keegan Hyland of South Portland, Dom Borelli and now Faithfull, it's hard to overcome those losses,'' Karter said.

''It's sad because those kids have worked so hard, you want them to complete their careers. Indiana had the ball in his hands all the time. It will be interesting to see what kind of team they are. It's a shame because you want to play teams when they're 100 percent.''

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Friday, February 13, 2009....Cheverus vs. Biddeford boys playoff game. Cheverus' Indiana Faithful slips past the Biddeford defense for a layup.

click image to enlarge

Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Wednesday, February 18, 2009....Cheverus vs. Thornton Academy boys basketball game. Cheverus guard Indiana Faithful passes off to a teammate.

click image to enlarge

Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Wednesday, February 18, 2009....Cheverus vs. Thornton Academy boys basketball game. Cheverus guard Indiana Faithful drives into the lane against Thornton's defense.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Derek Davis: Indiana Faithfull of Cheverus is fouled by Portland's Joe Zukowki as he drives to the basket at the Expo. Photographed on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.

click image to enlarge

Staff Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette: South Portland's Jon DiBiase looks for an open man as he is guarded by Indiana Faithfull of Cheverus Friday Jan. 22, 2010.

click image to enlarge

Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Friday, February 13, 2009....Cheverus vs. Biddeford boys playoff game. Cheverus' Indiana Faithful slips past the Biddeford defense for a layup.

click image to enlarge

Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Wednesday, February 18, 2009....Cheverus vs. Thornton Academy boys basketball game. Cheverus guard Indiana Faithful passes off to a teammate.

click image to enlarge

Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Wednesday, February 18, 2009....Cheverus vs. Thornton Academy boys basketball game. Cheverus guard Indiana Faithful drives into the lane against Thornton's defense.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Derek Davis: Indiana Faithfull of Cheverus is fouled by Portland's Joe Zukowki as he drives to the basket at the Expo. Photographed on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.

click image to enlarge

Staff Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette: South Portland's Jon DiBiase looks for an open man as he is guarded by Indiana Faithfull of Cheverus Friday Jan. 22, 2010.

click image to enlarge

Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Friday, February 13, 2009....Cheverus vs. Biddeford boys playoff game. Cheverus' Indiana Faithful slips past the Biddeford defense for a layup.

click image to enlarge

Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Wednesday, February 18, 2009....Cheverus vs. Thornton Academy boys basketball game. Cheverus guard Indiana Faithful passes off to a teammate.

click image to enlarge

Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Wednesday, February 18, 2009....Cheverus vs. Thornton Academy boys basketball game. Cheverus guard Indiana Faithful drives into the lane against Thornton's defense.

  


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