Barry waits patiently on ruling from CIF

By: Eric J. Gourley Journal Sports Writer
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LOOMIS — A Del Oro High transfer may have to wait until the end of next week to learn the fate of his senior basketball season. The Sac-Joaquin Section office originally ruled Remi Barry, the Golden Eagles’ 6-foot-7 phenom, ineligible to play. Barry, a France native, transferred after a stellar junior season last winter at American Heritage, Florida’s largest private school. Chris and Lori Hendricks, whose son, Aaron, is a junior sharpshooter for Del Oro, welcomed Barry into their home shortly after his 18th birthday late last August. “We just got a phone call asking if we would take a kid who needed a place to stay and then we learned why,” said Chris, whose family had hosted official and unofficial foreign exchange students in the past. “He had a bad situation there, and he was looking for a good family.” When the Section ruled Barry ineligible, the Hendricks family enlisted an attorney’s help to file an appeal with the California Interscholastic Federation. “He’s often thrown into the same bucket as kids who transfer within the same school district, but he’s not an intradistrict or intrastate transfer,” Chris said. “He’s an adult. He’s here under an F-1 visa. He’s a family of one who decided to move across the country to get out of a bad situation. “When we submitted the appeal we did it for hardship and general transfer,” he continued. “They basically came back with ‘athletically-motivated and denied.’ They also brought into the equation that it was avoidable. Get another family in Florida? That’s pushing the jurisdiction of the CIF a little far at that point.” The Hendricks family and Barry made their case during a Jan. 7 meeting that lasted several hours. According to a CIF handbook, “a copy of the written decision of the Appeals Panel, signed by an Appeals Panel member or Chair, will be mailed within 15 business days after the hearing.” That means Barry may have to wait until next Friday. “He’s on pins and needles,” Lori said. “There’s hopefulness and there’s discouragement. It’s hard to wait for a decision like this. Hopefully it won’t be that long.” Barry is trying to remain optimistic that the panel will find in his favor. “It would just destroy me,” he said. “Right now it’s just killing me. It’s really too hard. It’s not fair because I didn’t do anything bad.” The Section’s ineligibility ruling may also be impacting scholarship opportunities for Barry, who said he has already received verbal offers from Division I programs without appearing in a high school game since last February. After tonight’s Sierra Foothill League clash at Granite Bay, there are only seven games left in Del Oro’s regular season. Don’t expect the Hendricks family to give up if the appeal is denied. “We have options, options we’re not afraid to avail ourselves of,” Chris said.