Basha's Deshaun Buchanan

Deshaun Buchanan, who sat out last week after an alleged prior contact violation was reported to the Arizona Interscholastic Association, has been cleared to play the rest of the season. 

Basha junior defensive back and running back Deshaun “Day Day” Buchanan, who transferred from Hamilton to Basha this summer, will be forced to sit out the Bears’ season opener against Sandra Day O’Connor Friday due to an alleged prior contact violation with head coach Chris McDonald.

Buchanan and McDonald said Wednesday a hearing with the Arizona Interscholastic Association is expected to take place Tuesday, Sept. 7, where it will be determined whether Buchanan is ineligible for the entire 2021 season.

“I could play Friday but if on Tuesday I was determined to be ineligible then we would have to forfeit that game,” Buchanan said. “I was devastated when I got the news. This summer we went through so much to be granted eligibility. It hurts.”

According to McDonald, the alleged prior contact took place during an Under Armour skills camp at Higley High School in March. The camp hosts prospective college athletes from all over the state, where they receive coaching from those hired by Under Armour. None were associated with Arizona high schools.

However, local coaches, including McDonald, were hired as support staff for the event. McDonald said he picked up trash while in attendance.

But his presence and Buchanan’s participation at the camp is now resulting in prior contact allegations per AIA bylaw 15.12.4.14 in its official handbook, which states, "The student participated in a camp, clinic, combine, showcase or similar event where a coach, trainer, or instructor in the sport involved at the receiving school worked, whether on a paid or volunteer basis."

“When Day Day was at the camp, he was a Hamilton football player with no intentions of transferring to Basha,” McDonald said. “I had no dialogue with him. I didn’t know who was on the roster for the camp.

“Before he got to Basha if I walked next to him in the supermarket, I wouldn’t even have known who he was. He would tell you the same thing.”

Buchanan’s potential ineligibility comes just weeks after he and fellow Hamilton transfer Cole Martin won a hardship appeal to become immediately eligible this season.

The two transferred to nearby Basha after a racial slur was said by a Hamilton assistant coach in the team locker room during a summer workout when referencing words heard in explicit music being played.

Martin, who was also at the Under Armour camp, did not participate in any drills. While the anonymous email also pointed to him as violating prior contact rules, McDonald said Martin will play Friday.

“Prior contact means two people, right?” McDonald said. “If that’s the case, I’ll sit out the year. My playing career is over. To take a kid that’s a junior and make him sit out a year for something like this, that’s ridiculous. So, I’ll sit out a year.”

Buchanan said his family plans to seek legal help if he is determined to be ineligible by the AIA.

McDonald said the roller coaster of emotions felt the last few weeks have been hard on Buchanan and the team.

“When they see this happen to a teammate, it’s pretty tough to swallow,” McDonald said. “I don’t think it’s right. The kid shouldn’t be punished. He didn’t know what coaches were coaching there. He had no idea.”

Buchanan is hopeful to be able to play out his junior season.

“I would give anything in the world to play on Friday,” Buchanan said. “I want nothing more than to be able to go out there, play with my friends and have fun. I just want to get this over with.”

Have an interesting story? Contact Zach Alvira at (480)898-5630 or zalvira@timespublications.com. Follow him on Twitter @ZachAlvira

 

(4) comments

Fridaynightlights

Star athlete leaves school over racism. Is granted eligibility to play. Hamilton's coaches/parents upset and send "anonymous" email out of spite. Hmmm? Day Day "hurts." Shouldn't we all? Let the kid play and fire the racist coach.

FightHate

Is this about kids or politics? What are we trying to teach here? Racial slurs, "anonymous" emails and technicalities? Sounds like the divisive rhetoric seen in America has trickled down to the High-school football level and apparently AIA is the willing facilitator. What a shame.

FightHate

Is this about kids or politics? What are we trying to teach here? Racial slurs, "anonymous" emails and technicalities? Sounds like the divisive rhetoric seen in America has trickled down to the High-school football lev Is this about kids or politics? What are we trying to teach here? Racial slurs, "anonymous" emails and technicalities? Sounds like the divisive rhetoric seen in America has trickled down to the High-school football and apparently AIA is the willing facilitator. What a shame.

haterade

Funny how people have nothing better to do but nit pick and complain. This is not fair for the kids. I'm sure its another coach trying to sabotage Basha's season.

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