On Friday, the Paterson (N.J.) School District announced the suspension of athletic supervisor Gregory Cooper along with girls’ basketball coach Ray Lyde Jr., and track coach Natalie Jordan from Eastside High School.
According to NorthJersey.com, the district has also recently withdrawn from the girls’ and boys’ state basketball tournaments as an internal investigation intensifies regarding the school’s recruitment practices.
It has been suggested that Eastside is unable to provide proper federal certifications for foreign players enrolled in the school as part of a student exchange visa program.
The investigation began roughly three weeks ago with the suspension of boys’ basketball head coach Juan Griles and assistant Alberto Maldonado, after allegations were made claiming Griles was housing several international players in a condominium he owns.
Further findings of the investigation have uncovered four Nigerian athletes who list Jordan or one of her relatives as their guardian.
In a statement Friday, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association said, “the problems present in Paterson shine a bright light on issues that demand the attention of educators and regulators. We’re committed to ensuring that our rules and enforcement standards meet the needs of our student athletes and member schools.”
The District has enlisted the help of retired state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace in the ongoing investigation. Kennedy High School athletic supervisor Scott Durham will take on Cooper’s duties at Eastside for the duration of his suspension.