WIAA mulls banning athletes from postseason play for felony charges, convictions

(WISN) – Wisconsin high school student athletes could no longer be allowed to participate in postseason play in their respective sports if a change to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association constitution is approved.

The review, one WIAA official said, is a direct result of our Milwaukee affiliate’s reports on the issue of athletes charged or convicted of crimes yet still participating in sports.

WISN 12 NEWS Investigates learned while the WIAA prohibits used of alcohol, tobacco or drugs, the rulebook does not currently include any language about criminal conduct.

Earlier this year, Washington High School basketball star Deontay Long played in the state tournament even though he’d already pleaded guilty to a felony armed robbery. He was later sentenced to a year in jail.

In 2016, Lake Geneva’s Blake Dodd continued playing varsity football after he was charged with sexual exploitation of a child.

Earlier in 2015, Mukwonago’s Dominic Cizauskas played in the state basketball tournament while police were investigating him in connection to a sexual assault case.

“Any student charge and or convicted of a felony become ineligible for all further participation in all remaining WIAA tournaments for the remainder of their high school career,” the 2019 proposed constitutional change reads.

During a series of area meetings, which started Monday, WIAA will ask whether full high school career bans or partial bans would be issued to students. Students will be allowed to appeal, but would still be considered ineligible during the appeal process.

The next WIAA area meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at Greenfield High School. It is open to the public. Once the WIAA receives public input, the next step would be to have the issue go through WIAA committee meetings and then a possible board review.

If any version of a change to the constitution is approved, it would not take effect until at least April 2019.

Allante Walker

Allante Walker

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