Hamilton athletic director resigns, basketball team forfeits all wins after rules violation

The Hamilton High School basketball team hosted Lakota West on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

Hamilton High School’s athletic director has resigned, and the boys basketball team has been ordered to forfeit all wins this season because of a rules violation, school officials said this morning.

A violation of transfer eligibility rules, first investigated by the Ohio High School Athletic Association and then by Hamilton Schools officials, has led to the resignation of Athletic Director Bill Stewart.

“During the investigation, it was discovered the Hamilton High School Athletic Department and Hamilton High School Athletic Director violated the procedure required by the OHSAA regarding the district residency of a student-athlete,” the district said in a statement.

Hamilton was 8-4 this season heading into tonight’s game against Lakota West at Hamilton. The district did not identify which player or players were at issue.

There were four Hamilton players on the roster available on the Greater Miami Conference website who were not on the roster distributed to media for Friday night’s game. They are Davis Avery, Andrew Huff, EJ Kapihe and Sage Tolentino.

According to statistics from the league website, Tolentino has played in every game this season, Kaphihe has played in every game but Hamilton’s previous matchup against Mason on Tuesday, Davis has played in five games and not played in seven and Huff has not played in any of the 12 games.

Hamilton Schools spokeswoman Joni Copas told reporters at the game tonight that the school district investigation is done and she doesn’t expect coaching changes.

Stewart was hired in April by Hamilton Schools after nine years as Lebanon High School’s athletic director. He spent 32 years as a teacher, administrator and coach at Fairfield Schools.

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Stewart did not respond directly to questions regarding the reasons for his resignation but told the Journal-News Friday: “It has been a privilege to serve at Hamilton High School and work with their outstanding administration, coaches, teachers and student-athletes.”

“Hamilton has many bright days ahead and I look forward to following the student-athletes and coaches whom I was honored to work beside and serve,” said Stewart.

Hamilton school officials declined to comment beyond their released statement.

The Journal-News will report more on this as information becomes available.

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