The Bishop O'Dowd High girls basketball team received another blow to its hopes of playing again this season.
Gil Lemmon, the North Coast Section commissioner, said Wednesday he sent a letter to administrators at Bishop O'Dowd saying that he could not support its efforts to qualify to the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division.
"You have to be a qualifier from the section to be considered. There's no way I could support that they could be a qualifier from our section because they did not compete in our championships," Lemmon said. "I don't think that it's fair that a team skip the section playoffs and go directly to the NorCal championships."
Bishop O'Dowd was disqualified from participating in the NCS tournament after it was discovered on Feb. 22 that the Dragons played one more game this season than is allowed by the section. A release from the school on Sunday stated "we failed to designate one of our contacts as a scrimmage."
Lemmon said that he met with several Bishop O'Dowd administrators and West Alameda County Conference commissioner Dave Kiesel on Monday, and talked with Bishop O'Dowd athletic director Mike Bowler on Tuesday before making a decision and sending the letter Wednesday.
Bowler was livid when he was reached for comment Wednesday by the Bay Area News Group about the decision.
"We as an administration have not been able to sit down and discuss the letter. I'm really disappointed that our girls are going to find out about this through social media," Bowler said. "We are going to meet tomorrow as an administration. We will have a statement at noon."
A CIF spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to the Bay Area News Group on Wednesday that teams only qualify to the state tournament through their respective section playoffs as the state tournament is an extension of the section playoffs.
Bishop O'Dowd finished the regular season with a 23-4 record. It was ranked No. 1 in the most recent Bay Area News Group East Bay Girls Basketball Poll, and has won five straight NCS Division III titles as well as the CIF Open Division championship last year.