Basketball coaches fired after coach, 22, allegedly dons jersey and plays in junior varsity game

CNN/ Newswire | 2/1/2023, 4:02 p.m.
A 22-year-old high school assistant basketball coach who allegedly posed as a player to take part in a junior varsity …
Churchland's administration immediately investigated the report that a coach took part in a junior varsity game, a representative for the school system told CNN. Mandatory Credit: WTKR

Originally Published: 01 FEB 23 09:47 ET

By Amy Woodyatt and Laura Ly, CNN

(CNN) -- A 22-year-old high school assistant basketball coach who allegedly posed as a player to take part in a junior varsity game has been fired, along with the rest of the coaching staff.

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Virginia school system reacts to high school team canceling the rest of their season after a coach played during a game. Source: WTKR, NFHS NETWORK, VIRGINIA HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE, CNN

Churchland High School received a report last month that a member of the junior varsity (JV) girls basketball coaching staff left the bench and played in a game against Nansemond River High School in Suffolk, Virginia, on January 21, Lauren Nolasco, Portsmouth Public Schools' Chief Communications Officer confirmed to CNN.

The school's assistant basketball coach Arlisha Boykins donned a jersey posing as a junior player, CNN affiliate WTKR reported.

"While I cannot discuss details of the investigation since this is a personnel matter, I can confirm Arlisha Boykins is no longer an employee of Portsmouth Public Schools," said Nolasco in a statement.

Nolasco would not confirm if Boykins wore a jersey but confirmed that players in JV are usually between 13-15-years-old.

CNN has been unable to reach Boykins for comment.

"Churchland's administration immediately investigated and then reached out to the Virginia High School League to report its findings," Nolasco said, adding that no Churchland administrators were in attendance at the game.

Boykins as well as the head varsity and JV Girls basketball coaches have been all fired, WTKR reported.

The high school's administration held a parent and player meeting with both the JV and varsity teams.

"In the meeting, the players from both teams expressed they did not want to continue this season," Nolasco added.

Billy Haun, the executive director of the Virginia High School League, told WTKR that the league had been notified of the incident.

"When an adult commits to being a high school coach, it's not just about coaching the game. They take on a lot of responsibility," Haun said.

"Adults who fail to live up to those expectations -- I'll just put it bluntly -- they fail students. We failed kids because we've got a group of young ladies who will now not be able to finish their season because of the behavior of some adults," he added.