With everything that has recently taken place at Westwind Prep Academy, it only seemed pertinent that more changes would be soon to come for the basketball program at the school.
On Wednesday morning, they came in a major way as Director of Basketball Operations and head coach, Jeff De Laveaga, resigned from the program. De Laveaga released a statement through Facebook on Wednesday morning, advising his followers of the circumstances.
De Laveaga also went on to say,"I feel lied to and deceived. My parents of all our kids that put their trust into a school that said they had it all covered and, in reality, not even close to the truth. Johnny Marshall, Kye, Z, Glenn Baral, Zylan's, Namdi, Miles Martin and Josh Braun just had a complete waste of a year. Ridiculous."
De Laveaga went on to say, ""Southern Utah's compliance department is fighting like hell to get Johnny's (Marshall) appeal done. Univ of Texas SA is doing the same for Larry Lewis, and Kye received a waiver approval based on his three years at Horizon and high SAT scores."
De Laveaga is still unsure now what his son, 6-foot-3 senior guard Tate De Laveaga (Northern Arizona commit), will do this high school season for school, but he is still looking over his options. He advised me that his son Kye De Lavega plans to commit to a college program soon, and utilize this year to get stronger physically.
According to reports, Westwind Prep will not have a National High School program this year, but rather just focus on their post-graduate team that will be coached by Jai Steadman.
Last week was a tough one for members of the Westwind Prep basketball program, as the NCAA declared that the school’s coursework provided for their student-athletes at the program, during the 2012-2013 academic year, did not meet NCAA academic standards.
The NCAA’s ruling last week came after the NCAA gave the same ruling just a year ago - causing many of the program’s student-athletes last season to become NCAA ineligible.
Before taking over the head coaching position at the program in the spring of 2012, current Director of Basketball Operations, Jeff De Laveaga, was assured that the school had made the necessary changes to make Westwind’s academics permissible by NCAA standards. School Superintendent Debra Slagle worked very hard to raise the academic standards at the school – turning over some of the school’s staff and working closely with the NCAA to ensure that the academic standards set by the NCAA were being met.
Unfortunately for Westwind Prep, the NCAA again declared that the school’s academics were not adequate - ruling again that they would not accept the coursework for the 2012-2013 calendar year. The NCAA stated that the school’s grading philosophy was questionable. As a result, any classes taken by student-athletes during the year were declared unacceptable – creating a major issue for some of the school’s student-athletes.
For De Laveaga, this will again begin a new chapter for the hard-working and talented coach, as he will now look to help his boys find new academic homes, while also considering his own options for the future. For a time, it seemed as though the Westwind Prep project might be an opportunity to help raise the level of basketball in Arizona, while now it seems to have created set-backs for many involved.