There is a â€œ99 percentâ€ chance Eli Holman will play basketball this season.
That, according to Richmond assistant coach Lonnie Coleman, is what he understands after talking to the California Interscholastic Federation executive director Marie Ishida today.
According to Coleman, Ishida â€œwill give Eli the go ahead to playâ€ as long as his grades are acceptable. Richmond studentâ€™s grades become finalized on Friday; therefore Ishida will make an announcement on Monday at the earliest.
But it seems as if Holmanâ€™s report card is just a formality at this point. Coleman says he believes there is a â€œ99 percent chance of â€˜yesâ€™ because Eli has 3 Aâ€™s and 3 Bâ€™s, so his grades are solid.â€
â€œShe wants to see those grades and base her decision on that,â€ Coleman said.
Ishida decided to re-review the appeal after Holman and his supporters held a press conference at Richmond High last Wednesday. The press conference featured Holman speaking to the media and the referee Holman physically came in contact with, David Mullins, in the Dec. 3, 2005 incident.
â€œI canâ€™t stand by and watch while a good kid who made a mistake is punished for the rest of his high school career,â€ Mullins said in a press release. â€œHe messed up, heâ€™s paid the price, and he should have an opportunity to show everyone the integrity heâ€™s displayed over the last year off the court.â€
After placing a call to the CIF this afternoon, an assistant of Ishidaâ€™s said that no official decision had been made yet. The assistant also said that Ishida would be unable to discuss Holmanâ€™s appeal, due to the fact that it involved a minorâ€™s eligibility.
Word that Holman could be returning comes just in time for his Richmond team. After a loss on Tuesday, Richmond’s record dropped to 7-6 and is curretnly only fielding six players on their active roster. If Holman’s appeal is successful on Monday, he will be able to play in the team’s 12 remaining games.