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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 04:11pm
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Uniform T in 1-point state semifinal loss

This was the main story on page A1 of the Chicago Tribune this morning.

Photos showed obvious violation of the state rule (this year and previous year when I think it said they won the state title). Isn't clear whether the officials would have called this on their own without the state administrator piping up, is it? ...


HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL STATE TOURNAMENT
North Lawndale penalized for illegal uniforms
North Lawndale was a win away from the title game. Then came the technical for a uniform violation.

UPDATE: Lawndale shows up in same uniforms for 3rd-place game

By Colleen Kane and Bob Sakamoto | Tribune reporters
March 21, 2009

PEORIA - A public-address announcer broke the news.

Before a second would tick off the clock of its Class 3A semifinal Friday against Champaign Centennial, North Lawndale College Prep would be assessed a technical foul.

Uniform violation. Bad stripes.

As Lawndale players watched helplessly from the side of Carver Arena's court, Centennial's Jeff Johnson sank one of two free throws.

Related links

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UPDATE: North Lawndale repeats uniform violation at state tournament
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Fair or foul: Technical for a uniform violation

Should the IHSA have penalized North Lawndale for a uniform violation?
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North Lawndale's uniforms North Lawndale's uniforms Photos
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A look at the design violation Graphic

One-nothing, Chargers, 32 minutes to play, Centennial's ball. What a prelude to a game to decide who would play for a state championship Saturday.

The game ended the way it started before it started: Centennial, up one, 66-65.

And North Lawndale? Perhaps the first state semifinalist to be a victim of fashion.

"It's like they gave them (Champaign Centennial) that one point," North Lawndale senior forward Jonathan Mills said. "Plus, they got the ball to start the game. That one point made a big difference, and every possession counted so much in a game like that."

The uniform violation broke a National Federation of State High School Associations rule that states the torso of the jersey the area from an imaginary horizontal line at the base of the neckline extending to each armhole, down to the bottom hem and from side seam to side seam must be a single solid color. Also, the side inserts (stripes) must be centered vertically below the armpit, and those stripes can't be more than 4 inches wide.

An Illinois High School Association administrator informed the referees of the infraction, and they penalized North Lawndale with the technical.

"This was very unfair because they waited until we were already Downstate to tell us of the uniform violation," Mills said. "That's what I don't understand. They could have told us about this a long time ago. We could have worn some of our old uniforms that didn't have the stripe."

Kurt Gibson, the IHSA's assistant executive director in charge of boys basketball, said he had warned the team of the violation several times over the last two years, including at the team's shootaround Thursday at Carver Arena.

"North Lawndale's stripe came around the front, which is not allowed," Gibson said.

Lawndale questioned the timing of the most recent warning. Coach Lewis Thorpe pointed out that Gibson had attended the Public League quarterfinal playoff game in February and didn't mention the uniform violation.

"I can't understand why they didn't tell us before about the uniforms," Thorpe said. "This is the most painful loss I've had since I've been coaching."

Gibson maintains he talked to Thorpe two years ago about the uniforms and said rules are reviewed with coaches before the season. Lawndale's uniforms, which the team has worn all season, were ordered in August, Thorpe said.

"They had ample warning," said Gibson, who has worked for the IHSA for seven years. "If they had to put together white uniforms of differing styles, that's fine. So long as they adhered to the uniform rule. My understanding was North Lawndale was going to bring different uniforms. ... I chose to enforce the rule at this state tournament because the IHSA has more control over this event."

Gibson added later: "I don't know how often [the rule] has been previously enforced. We hope that it is [enforced in all games]. ... However, officials have not been required to submit any kind of report to us when they have enforced it."

The uniform infraction added to a string of difficult and bizarre incidents surrounding the Lawndale team this season:

In January, junior forward Jermaine Winfield was shot in the leg while trying to aid a friend when a fight broke out after a game.

Junior center Paul Bunch was academically ineligible for much of the season.

And most recently, Mills was suspended for allegedly cheating on an exam but was granted a temporary restraining order by a judge so he could play in the state tournament.

After those obstacles, a uniform violation might not seem very difficult, but Bunch said it was enough to shake the team.

"I think it affected us mentally a little at the beginning of the game," Bunch said. "This is something that should have been taken care of a long time ago. Why did they wait until our game at state?"

Of course, the Lawndale players also recognized that Centennial scored 65 points other than the free throw, including 21 in the fourth quarter to make a comeback that shifted the focus from Lawndale's stripe to the Chargers' baby-blue threads.

"I don't think it was the reason we lost," said junior guard Stephen Thorpe, son of the coach. "We still had a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter. We let the game get away in the fourth quarter."

North Lawndale, which moved up to 3A after winning the Class 2A championship last March, will play Leo on Saturday for third place. Lawndale finished second in Class A in 2007.
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 04:21pm
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I'm not sure I'd recognize an illegal stripe.
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Last edited by Adam; Sat Mar 21, 2009 at 04:24pm.
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 04:34pm
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North Lawndale's uniforms -- chicagotribune.com

Looks pretty obvious to me that they are illegal.
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 04:39pm
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Here's the link:

Illinois boys basketball state finals pictures -- chicagotribune.com

North Lawndale (NLCP on their jerseys) were wearing the white jerseys in this game.

Pictures for this game are number 28 through 49.
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 04:52pm
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credit to the player here not blaming the tech.

"I don't think it was the reason we lost," said junior guard Stephen Thorpe, son of the coach. "We still had a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter. We let the game get away in the fourth quarter."
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 04:57pm
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Now interesting point....The same 3 officials that worked the semi-final game worked the game of theirs before. I wonder if they T'd them up the game before state also?
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 05:10pm
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I'd bet the reason it wasn't enforced last year was the penalty would have been a T for each player who entered the game. Hard to say this year, my guess is most officials aren't looking at the stripes to see if they're legal. I wouldn't have caught it.

I still don't see it; can someone help me? Is it too wide?
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 05:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaqwells View Post
I'd bet the reason it wasn't enforced last year was the penalty would have been a T for each player who entered the game. Hard to say this year, my guess is most officials aren't looking at the stripes to see if they're legal. I wouldn't have caught it.

I still don't see it; can someone help me? Is it too wide?
The stripe must be centered vertically below the armpit. Their stripe extends into the torso area and not straight down toward the waist. That's my understanding of it.
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 05:35pm
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I see that now, 3-4-11.
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 05:58pm
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Wouldn't The Uniform Manufacturers Know These Rules ???

From the NFHS:

http://www.fhsaa.org/bbb/new_uniforms.pdf

NFHS uniform presentation (Move curser to red screen and hit returns to change slides)
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 06:07pm
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Yes, they should know them, Billy, but it's not their job to be compliant. It's their job to make cool looking uniforms that sell. The ones who buy the uniforms should know the rules.
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 08:04pm
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... for those not wanting to follow the links.
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 08:31pm
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaqwells View Post
Yes, they should know them, Billy, but it's not their job to be compliant. It's their job to make cool looking uniforms that sell. The ones who buy the uniforms should know the rules.
I disagree. If you're a uniform manufacturer, you should be aware of what the rules are and you should make legal uniforms based on who you're selling them to.
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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 08:36pm
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I honestly would not have probably caught that uniform violation *shrug*

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Old Sat Mar 21, 2009, 11:13pm
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I don't think that i would have realized the violation before now. However, if this is the first time that they were receiving a T for this then there is a problem. They had no time to correct the issue. I would assume that if the team received a T for this in the regular season, at least once, they would have taken care of the problem.
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