By Devon Robinson, Staff Writer
The women’s basketball team at Los Angeles Harbor College was bounced from the state playoffs before it had a chance to begin when the South Coast Conference commissioner apparently reversed himself on an eligibility decision at the end of the regular season.
The outcome has angered LAHC officials.
Guards Tiffany and Paris Lucci were held out at the start of the regular season by LAHC after transferring from Long Beach City College, but eventually received permission to play from SCC Commissioner Richard Kollen, despite complaints from Long Beach.
But after LAHC beat host Long Beach, 70-59, in January Long Beach, according to LAHC officials, complained to Kollen, who took up the matter again. He decided to reinstate ineligibility. That dropped the Seahawks’ record to 2-25 and allowed Long Beach to claim a share of the SCC title with El Camino.
The Vikings were awarded the No. 1 seed into the playoffs. Because Harbor’s power rating dropped as a result of forfeiting 12 games, El Camino did not receive a playoff berth.
Kollen, in an email, refused comment because the matter is on appeal.
“It’s unfortunate our community college commissioner has caused such a devastating situation for all our colleges,” LAHC women’s basketball coach Albert Turner said in a letter obtained by The Tides. “It personally saddens me because this situation should have never come about.”
Turner and Harbor Athletic Director Dean Dowty say Long Beach Coach Michael Anderson believes Turner was recruiting illegally, an allegation both deny.
Tiffany Lucci played in 22 games and averaged 20 points a game. Paris Lucci played in 14 games and averaged 11.4 points.