Lynn English Principal Andy Fila said he intends to file an appeal with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association regarding its decision to penalize the English boys basketball program for recruiting violations.
The MIAA will not allow head coach Buzzy Barton to coach the team during games in the 2010 State Tournament and Barton will have to sit out the first 10 games of the 2010-11 season. Barton can participate in practice sessions with the team.
“I don’t agree with their (the MIAA’s) decision to now allow Buzzy Barton to coach our team,” said Fila. “I’m going to speak with the superintendent of schools (Catherine Latham), but right now my intention is to appeal the decision and the penalties with the MIAA.”
The recruiting issue involves English student-athlete Cory McMillan. East Boston High Principal Michael Rubin filed a complaint with the MIAA stating that McMillan was recruited by English to transfer to the school.
Fila referred to the “Dorian Brown situation” in defending English’s actions regarding the Corey McMillan issue. Brown, a talented athlete who went on to play Division 1 college basketball at Jacksonville State University, transferred from Lynn English to Bellingham High School for his senior year. Brown helped lead Bellingham to the Division 3 state basketball championship.
“Dorian’s father made the choice to transfer to Bellingham and we supported his decision,” said Fila. “The same thing has happened with Corey McMillan. His [McMillan’s) father made the choice to have his son transfer to English. So I guess, what’s good for Dorian Brown isn’t good for Cory McMillan.”
Fila said that Cory McMillan’s relatives work at a Lynn institution and that they approached him about having Corey transfer to Lynn English.
“He was looking to move someplace,” said Fila. “His other choice was to go to Florida because he has relatives in Florida.”
Fila conceded that it’s too late to have Barton on the sidelines for English’s first game in the State Tournament. “I asked that and I was told it couldn’t be done,” said Fila.
Fila also weighed in on another controversial topic: the decision by Northeastern Conference coaches to select only one player (Ryan Woumn) from English to the NEC All-Star team. English was the NEC Large champion this season.
“Shame on the Northeastern Conference coaches – they’re adults,” said Fila. “It was a gutless move not to vote our players to the All-Star team that deserved the recognition.”