Decision to cut senior prompts review

Decision to cut senior prompts review

CHAMPAIGN — A coach's decision to cut a key member of last year's Champaign Central boys' basketball team has prompted an administrative review by school district officials.

A throng of supporters, many wearing "Let Bailey Play" T-shirts, turned out at Monday night's school board meeting to express disappointment over the decision to cut Bailey Dee, one of the area's top returning players, from the Maroons team before his senior season was to start.

The majority of Central's team is black, like Dee. Maroons coach Jeff Finke is white.

"This is about the narrative," said Will Kyles, Champaign's longest-serving black council member. "The narrative is this is a white man trying to steal my dreams."

Others who spoke out Monday didn't raise the race angle specifically but were equally adamant in their support of Dee.

Neither Dee nor his father, Leroy, who both attended Monday's meeting at a packed Mellon Administrative Center, spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting.

But in an interview with The News-Gazette, Leroy Dee described being "absolutely shocked" at the news about his son.

"Basketball has always been his dream," the father said. "He has been playing since his sophomore year and started. Then, all of a sudden, he was off the team completely. He can't be a benchwarmer or anything his senior year. This is ludicrous."

Neither Finke nor Central Athletic Director John Woods responded to messages left after Monday's meeting. But before public comment began, Unit 4 school board President Chris Kloeppel announced that a review of the matter was under way by the district.

In a statement he read aloud, Kloeppel said: "A student and his family raised concerns about the process that governs tryouts for the boys varsity basketball team at Central High School. After meeting with his family to discuss their concerns, the administration began a review last week.

"We thank everyone who shares our desires to hold academics and athletics in Unit 4 to the highest standard and ask for your patience while administrators complete their review."

Whether that diminishes the emotions involved remains to be seen.

After Kloeppel spoke, a number of prominent local African-American leaders stepped to the microphone to show support for the player.

Said former Champaign County NAACP President Patricia Avery, a candidate for lieutenant governor: "We are going to stand here and support Bailey until justice is served. We know there is an investigation and are going to allow that process to take place.

"I've been watching Bailey play ball since he was a little boy. Not only does he love the game, he's good at it. He's a respectful young man. He's not a troublemaker. He is using the game as a steppingstone to his future. To be denied that breaks my heart."

Minnie Pearson, who succeeded Avery as local NAACP president, said she trusts that Unit 4 administrators will do the right thing.

"I pray for you to go back and make right decision for this young man," she said. "Let's not try to break this young man's spirit. Don't look the other way, school board."

Asked about calls for a boycott of school next Tuesday by "students of color," more than 20 attendees of Monday night's meeting, including Dee's father, said they had no knowledge of an idea proposed by community activist Craig Walker.

In one of several "community alert" emails sent to city officials, black community leaders, media members and others in the past week, Walker called for "a Day of Protest incorporating a day of absence from class."

"If your kids can stay home great, if they can't that's fine too," Walker wrote. "The goal is 100 students of color staying home on (11/21). If we exceed that goal that's great."

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Automan wrote on November 14, 2017 at 7:11 am
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So the black community comes out in droves for a single basketball player but are no where to be found when it comes to the achievement gap in the Unit 4 schools, the disparity for suspensions and expulsions, the disparity at the county jail, the lack of jobs for African Americans, or the building of a new county jail to put them in it. But one basketball player and they are out like it's a civil rights march. It's funny what triggers citizen involvement. Win this battle but lose the war. 

If they do win this and the coach's decision is overturned, how is this supposed to work? Is Coach Finke going to play a player he doesn't want on his team? Is the black community going to monitor his playing minutes and protest if Finke doesn't play Dee enough? What kind of relationship is Dee going to have with his coach now that all this public strife has been stirred up?

Dee might as well transfer to a new team where this baggage is not. 

davidhosbiggestfan wrote on November 14, 2017 at 8:11 am

Is community activist Craig Walker, same as convicted felon Craig Walker who doesn't live in the community?

cjwinla wrote on November 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm

How small you must feel when Walker is top ten percentile Income bracket and you are white in the bottom fifty percentile .....#Sad 

davidhosbiggestfan wrote on November 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Not white, wish I was, could use some privilege.  I do not judge my feelings by my income bracket, but let us just say crypto currency has been very, very good to me.  I do judge how I feel by knowing that I have never been to prison, and being a man of color that is pretty impressive in today's America. wrote on November 15, 2017 at 7:11 am

Why do you talk about your self in the 3rd person Craig......... thats weird........... or how would you know how much Mr Walker makes???????????????????????????  if your not either him or related to him.  How much were you going to make off the taxpayers  a few years ago on that bond issue that fell through for the school board?  remind me again..................... for how much work?


Remind me again how much your sister made off the district when they sued 2 yrs ago for 75000 over what they perceived as an illegal search of your nephew by Unit 4 staff???????????????


In the mean time................


since Central is 40 % black and 60% other races, then we need to have that proportion on the teams.  Anything else is racist.



Ksmack wrote on November 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Exactly.  The same guy that is throwing around the words "white supremicist" but saying this is not about race.  The problem with slandering the AD, coach and board members is that none of these activists know the entire story...neither does the public yet. But they are quick to spead lies and hatred all over facebook.  This young man seems like a very talented player but to say that this is racist, how can you explain the other 11 African American men that made the basketball team? And while it is unfair to speak ill of Dee I dont see many of these so called activists holding back on slandering the Finke boy, he is a child too but I guess since he is white it is ok to spread negative comments  all over  social media about him  .  One of the leaders of this movement spoke in one of his live videos on how the uppity white folks will feel this child turns to a life of crime?  Really??? Now they will be to blame if he takes the wrong path?  Why don't these so called activists lead this young man down the correct path and focus on education, find a career path, and be a productive member of society?  This is a shame for all involved but this "movement" is so off base its really becoming comical.

bookworm wrote on November 14, 2017 at 8:11 am

There is only going to be one star on the team and it’s the coach’s son.  Several NG articles have already been written about Finke III — his summer games, 40 in June alone, his injury, his this, his that — it’s to be all Finke III all the time.  No room for another star who could use the attention to get a college scholarship.  

BruckJr wrote on November 14, 2017 at 8:11 am

What am I missing here?  Players are cut from athletic teams every year in most every school district.  Have there not been other players cut from teams at Central?  The school board should have no part to play in this.  Certainly 'prominent local African-American leaders' should have no part to play in this.

IlliniwekMerica wrote on November 14, 2017 at 8:11 am

The worst part is that we'll never get the full story (which we shouldn't). If the kid got cut from the team so the coaches son could be more featured, then that will obviously come out and should come out to make this whole protest worth it and give the kid a fair shot.

If there was some kind of disciplinary or academic reason for why he wasn't allowed to be on the team, then I hope that doesn't come out because that's also not fair to the kid. Unfortunately, that scenario ends up letting the rumors run rampant.

It's a rock and a hard place situation, hope the reason was more innocent than manipulative. 

rsp wrote on November 14, 2017 at 9:11 am

High school coaches around here don't cut people because of grades. They will bench you until up bring it up so that excuse is out. A disiplinary reason? Then why does the board need to investigate? They would have already known about anything serious enough to ban him from the team. Something else is going on.

IlliniwekMerica wrote on November 14, 2017 at 10:11 am

Knowing a kid isn't going to be eligible or knowing you won't be able to coach him/ he won't be a team player (discplinary) are perfectly reasonable reasons to cut a player from a high school team.

I'm not claiming to know anything. I'm just saying there are much more reasonable excuses than just assuming racism/ favoritism. But if the kid was treated unfairly then I hope he gets some justice, but I just hope his name doesn't get slandered if it does end up being eligibility or disciplinary related because... well he's just a kid and these internet stories tend to stick around. 

rsp wrote on November 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm

He was a team player for the last two years. And he is just a kid. Don't put him in a box and throw his life away. He is obviously a good player.

stewwalk wrote on November 14, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Returning players that average nearly 15 points per game the previous season and have started varsity since sophmore year usually aren't cut...try again man

GLG wrote on November 14, 2017 at 8:11 am


Is Rev. Jesse Jackson on his way to Champaign??


"Somebody gonna have to pay!"

rsp wrote on November 14, 2017 at 9:11 am

I really feel sad for you that nobody has ever stepped up for you in your life. The fact that a child still wants to go after his dreams in spite of potentially unfair tactics by others should be inspiring. Instead you make tired race-baiting jokes.

Joe American wrote on November 14, 2017 at 10:11 am

You've obviously not been paying attention to the "reverend" Jesse Jackson over the past 40 years, otherwise you wouldn't have made such a naive statment.  It's not race-baiting - it's based in precedence.

rsp wrote on November 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Everytime something is going on some ignorant white person has to say something about when is Jesse or who is the other one? You know...Al Sharpton, when is he coming to town. I grew up listening to that. Before them it was Malcolm X, Martin Luther King. Anytime someone tried to help someone else they were "uppity". They have to be "perfect" unlike white people. King might have cheated on his wife? Like every white man was faithful?

So yes, I've been around for a while and yes, I know ignorance when I see it.

rsp wrote on November 17, 2017 at 8:11 am

OMG! You found a story from 1999! Didn't Prince write a song about that? Is it time to party?

Hankster63 wrote on November 14, 2017 at 8:11 am

This isn’t a Black/White thing in my opinion. It’s a Daddy Ball situation that should of never been allowed to happen. 

Robert Canine wrote on November 14, 2017 at 9:11 am

If he's such a fantastic basketball player, then there must have been a reason that he was cut.  But the article doen't mention any reason, nor does it so much as even use the word "reason" anywhere in the article.  As if racism could be the only explanation. This stinks of a coverup.  What are you hiding, Gnus Gazelle?

stingray1970 wrote on November 14, 2017 at 9:11 am
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Obviously, this young man is a victim of a Basketball Jones!

OnlyFacts wrote on November 14, 2017 at 9:11 am

I wish the N-G had taken a little more time to research before writing this article.  For instance, they could have referenced their own article from last year: where they labeled him a D-1 Prospect.  My son, a white player, is a former AAU teammate of Bailey's.  I have watched this kid play since sixth grade.  He's very good--Big 10 good, maybe not, but he's been expected to go somewhere to play in College.  He also played on the Illinois Irish along side Tim.  There were scouting reports on him as recently as October naming him a Central Illinois leading point guard. take a kid, who has been on Varsity for three years (and a starter for two) and suddenly cut him his senior year.  There absolutely should be an investigation into why, and I'm disappointed in the News-Gazette for using the race angle.  Take a minute and watch his Junior year highlights.  Check out WCIA basketball recaps for Central High School last year.  Look at his stats.  Then, ask yourself, why isn't this kid on the team??  Unfortunately for Bailey, his senior season is ruined now, no matter what.  If he's reinstated, then he plays for a coach that doesn't want him to outshine his son.  He's missed a full week of practices now.  Even if Unit 4 releases him, where will he be able to play now?  Well timed, Coach Finke, well timed.   

Local Yocal wrote on November 14, 2017 at 10:11 am
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This story broke on WEFT radio over the weekend and reports are:

1) Bailey Dee's grades are solid and he's elgible to play.

2) Bailey Dee has not been in trouble with school officials or the law. His behavior inside and outside the school has been good. 

3) Coach Finke selected this person to be a starter on his varsity team the last two years.

4) When pressed for a reason why Finke cut a starter from the team, Finke claims Bailey Dee's tryout for the team was not that good. (Hard to believe)

When students show outstanding skill at an extracurricular activity, and faculty deny them the opportunity to participate, can the school board step in? Automan has laid out the problem going forward. How are Coach Finke and Bailey Dee supposed to play on the same team now? 


GLG wrote on November 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

"former Champaign County NAACP President Patricia Avery, a candidate for lieutenant governor:"

Just what does her running for any office have to do with this story??

rsp wrote on November 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm

That's normal coverage. It may stand out to you because you don't like her. I know this because you posted this. You only post about these kinds of things about black people. Just trying to be helpful. wrote on November 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

Michael Jordan got cut from his high school bb team too.............


so which one of you social justice warriors  ( SJW) are going to tell some kid who thinks that he is on the team is now off the team?


Where does it end?  Will some kid who gets a C on a paper get the NAACP to go  to Unit 4 and demand that the teacher be suspended?   Where does it stop?  as mentioned before, will the NAACP now be demanding that he play x number of minutes per game?


good to know that Mr. Walker does not believe that kids should be in school  but rather have a sick out in support of a bb player.................................un real


And really Yoddler................


WEFT  thats your source?????????????????????????????????????????  wow.  thats like asking Wikipedia to be your source for your PHD.....................

OnlyFacts wrote on November 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

It was on Penny for Your Thoughts yesterday morning, too.  But I suppose WDWS isn't a reliable source either.

Local Yocal wrote on November 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm
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Bailey Dee's aunt called into the WEFT radio station to give these details. The family should know the facts about their relative. 

IlliniwekMerica wrote on November 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm

I'm not saying you're wrong, but his aunt isn't exactly the most unbiased source. I have plenty of aunts who would say things like this to clear my name, doesn't mean they're true. 

This whole thing is gross though. I hate that this high school kid has to go through this. 

lydaroberti wrote on November 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm
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This really does stink. Kid starts and is getting looks from colleges but he's not good enough to play on Finke's kid's team? Afraid college scouts are going to be coming to see Bailey and not Tim? It's a shame because as others have mentioned, his year at Central is shot whether he's back on the team or not. Jeff Finke needs to go and the sooner the better. If he stays as coach this team is going to be fractured no matter what happens. Daddy Ball strikes again.

cjwinla wrote on November 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

This isn’t an issue of a basketball player. This is about a student athlete who has done everything he is supposed to and has the talent, grades and good student conduct to play. 2 year starters don’t even tryout, they practice and get ready for the season. This young man’s story and circumstances requires him to get a college scholarship to attend and basketball is his best ticket to that dream. More importantly the fact that he is black, and the coach and his son are white, from a black persons perspective this absolutely is about race. A white kid who is a D1 prospect would never be cut from the team by a black coach because it would not be allowed by the School Board. What the community has to decide, is if  it supports the notion that a young black kids whole trajectory in life should be destroyed in order to give a white kid Better basketball scholarship offers. If you believe there is nothing wrong with that then who you are is very clearly defined. 

CptJustice wrote on November 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm
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If it's determined Coach Finke jeopardized a student's future because he was favoring his own son, then Coach Finke should be fired. 

Beem wrote on November 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm

"from a black persons perspective this absolutely is about race."

I have seen a video posted on Facebook from one of the leaders of the "let Bailey play" movement, who is black, and in the video, he says "It has nothing to do with race at all." So, which is it? One black person's perspective may not agree with another black person's perspective.

wayward wrote on November 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm

In one of several "community alert" emails sent to city officials, black community leaders, media members and others in the past week, Walker called for "a Day of Protest incorporating a day of absence from class."

"If your kids can stay home great, if they can't that's fine too," Walker wrote. "The goal is 100 students of color staying home on (11/21). If we exceed that goal that's great."

Great idea.  So if teachers just shrug and give the kids zeros for missed work during an unexcused absence, the "students of color" could end up behind grade-wise.

cjwinla wrote on November 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm

I would hope that teachers would use the moment as a live education on Social Justice . You don’t understand when our point of view is ignored and students of color are subject to the rules and opinions of the majority white School Board that causes distress. The Community warned  the School Board in May of 2015 that hiring Finke and his two sundown town assistant coaches would create issues. Our concerns were ignored. No protocols or protections were put in place so a Coach with his son and two assistance’s from villa grove and fisher could not wreak havoc on the players of color. Now 2 years later that’s exactly what has happened. I don’t know if you are paying attention but people around the Nation  are kneeling, #metoo, and marching for their social justice at great risk to themselves. That’s what it takes to change the wrongs of society. There are no comfortable social justice movements. And believe me, this situation has “ woke” the students of Champaign as  to how far a white system will go to promote their own. They are basically trying to assasinate this  Black young man’s opportunity for a college scholarship via basketball. Every kid of color knows it could happen to them if this is allowed to stand. What I proposed  was a Day of Protest staying out of school and using that Day to learn Our History. Learn about what the 1950/60’s were about and analyze how does that apply to our situation today in  Domald Trump’s America. There is no time for a day off, just a Day for different learning. 

wayward wrote on November 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm

It's really hard to imagine most of the faculty at Central caring how you think they should manage their classes.

JamBam wrote on November 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm

"wreak havoc on players of color".   Shut up.  The entire team is black.  Did you know that cutting Bailey Dee enables another black player to make the team?  How is choosing one black player over another racism?  And if you're claiming it's because Tim Finke (the ONLY white guy on the team) should have been cut instead, then you simply don't understand basketball.  

Is it racist that Central is only about 40% black, but their basketball roster is 95% black?  Looks like the white kids are getting cut far more often than the black kids, by the white coach.

stewwalk wrote on November 14, 2017 at 8:11 pm

The white kids are getting cut more because they suck. Not because they are white. Though imperfect, sports may be the closest thing to a true meritocracy we have. If you can play, you can play. I agree that this may be a case of daddy is coach, than just pure racism. It's still stinks none-the-less. I dont know of too many players who play varsity for three years, start for two, average 15 points per game, have soild grades, no past discipline issues, then magically get cut. Something stinks....It may not be racist, but it's SOMETHING. Getting Dee off the team to let Finke shine on his own is not out of the realm of possibility.

Ksmack wrote on November 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm

How is the coach wreaking havoc on players of color when the majority of the team is "of color"?  Please stand up for what is right and wrong but not based on the color of his skin.... you are talking about one player here and again DO NOT have the facts. You want to preach social justice by driving  a bigger wedge between the races, such a noble guy.   Who will be around on 11/21 to teach the history to these kids?  Is this every other color you are referring to other than caucasian or just the african american children to be let out of school? Just wondering

headshaking wrote on November 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Sounds to me like nepotism, not racism.  BUT, I really don't know the facts, and the NG didn't do a very good job of explaining them.

factsarefacts wrote on November 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Pretty certain Finke is not in need of attention or the spotlight when he already has 19 D1 offers in place. How many offers does Dee have? If this kid listened to half the people that relentlessly tried to help lift him up, he wouldn't be in this position.

Bwp 5P wrote on November 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Just a Thought from an old guy that's coached a long time....and coached his Son thru Little League, Pony League, All-Stars, etc...Then watched him Play College Ball! I always Tried my Darndest to get the best players. The TEAM is what it's all about! The best Players should be playing!

Not sure what this is about. I have to assume Finke is smart enough to surround his Son with other good/great players. The better the team, as a whole, the more scouts, etc. come looking.

Something else going on here!


Hope it all works out.

T2 wrote on November 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm

I, too, do not believe this is about race, rather it is about talent. Dee clearly has an abundance of talent, such that it definitely shows on the court--as others have noted -- to the point of outshining Finke's son. This was evident last year to all who went to and watched Central HS basketball. Even then, whenever Dee began to out hustle and outscore Finke, he was benched.  That trend was difficult to watch game after game, but allowing Finke to strip Dee of his senior year and potential college scholarship/degree is unconscionable!!!  As was previously stated, a good coach would want to surround his identified "superstar son" with the best talent around; however anyone who has watched Finke tromp down other athletes to build his own up over his many years of local daddyball coaching know that spotlighting his own is the only intended outcome. Many times last season we watched him sit Dee when he was performing well, often being willing to take a team loss to ensure his son was  the top scorer.  Given all this, one has to question the moral makeup and character of the elder Finke. This situation is very sad, unfortunately, poor coaching and horrific player treatment by morally corrupt coaches is not isolated to basketball at Central   In the long term, the team selection and coaching practices, moral fidelity, student/family treatment and character qualities of the coaching staff across athletics in general at Central High School needs to be looked into!!!  In the short term, Finke and his hand picked assistants (one of whom must have been hired to be the younger Finke's personal publicist, as he continually posts Tim Finke' stats---not team or all player stats---just Tim's) needs to be fired!! wrote on November 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Your related to Mr. Walker right?  So Social Justice Warrior how do you handle keeping kids out of school?  and his "only" ticket out of here is BB?  really?  He couldnt go to parkland  get a degree in welding find a good paying job?  The military is offering thousands of dollars in enlistment bonuses  but the only way out of CU is to play "hoops"?   What a sad state of affairs it must be............

rsp wrote on November 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Where do you think he might end up making more money? A four year college or Parkland? The military where he might end up in a warzone and die? Suppose he was really good at math and science but the instructor didn't want him in his class. Would you hand him a broom?

He has a dream and talent. He is willing to work for it. There doesn't seem to be a legitimate reason to cut him.

Ksmack wrote on November 14, 2017 at 8:11 pm


  He will have the opportunity  to make money either way it goes.   Many athletes go to Parkland and have  a great athletic and academic experience.  If the player takes full advantage of what the program has to offer he can transfer to a 4 year school... Its actually a great path to take. wrote on November 15, 2017 at 10:11 am

Hey flash.


Not every one wants to go to  a 4 year school..........even rich kids./....................


Your paying how many an hour to have someone work on your car????????????  But thats just chump change huh..............


what a bigoted attitude you have towards folks who work in the trades.



rsp wrote on November 17, 2017 at 8:11 am

My whole family has worked in the trades. Union members, mechanics, roofers, iron workers, laborers, etc. etc. etc. If you need you car worked on I know how to fix it. I've rebuilt my own engine. Dude! Why do you see this as black or white? I'm not talking about color.

Why do you insist this kid should have to give up on his dream because of his coach? Do you have any idea of the number of people who want to work in the trades but can't get hired because they are the wrong color? Can't get into the union because they aren't related to someone who is a member? This kid has a chance to follow his dreams and maybe make it big. I think he should have that chance.

This kid wants this.

JamBam wrote on November 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm

How is cutting one black player, so that another black player can make the team racist?  Virtually the entire team is black. Is Tim Finke the only white player on the squad?  There can't be many others.  These fools in "black leadership" are part of the problem.  When you have complete morons leading the pack, it's not surprising when the people they are "shepherding" end up complete failures too. 

Jeff Finke is the head coach.  It's going to be his last year as coach since his son's a senior.  It's his call on who makes the team and who doesn't.  If the school board thinks he's not putting the best team on the floor, then they can vote to fire him.  The "community organizers" aka trouble makers do not need to get involved in any way other than take their grievances to the school board if this is that big of deal.  They certainly don't need to organize a protest of staying home from school lmao.  If I ran the school, and my coach did not put the best kids on the team, I'd fire him.  I certainly would not make it a racial issue however.

CharacterCounts wrote on November 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm

A few years ago a white Central basketball coach quit due to the school administration requiring him to have a black student on the team who had violated his drug policy rules while at another school.  His rules applied to everyone but that student athlete who I believe had been dismissed from another school for drug violations.  That coach had rules that he applied fairly and across the board, the school administration disagreed and insisted he allow the drug violator on the team.  The coaches successor did not have the same backbone and allowed the drug user on the team.

I can't imagine a coach not wanting the best players on his team to include a team with his son on it.  I wonder if their could be an attutude problem with the player.?  Is he a good player but not a team player?

I opine there is a good reason the player is not on the team but his supporters do not want to accept the reason as valid.  

Anyone who misses school for any protest should not be excussed for their absence.  Protest after school or on weekends, not during the school day.  Follow the rules and policies or accept the consequences.  Accept responsibility for your actions. wrote on November 14, 2017 at 7:11 pm


Define "money"  there are lots of company around who hire welders at 20+ an hour to start while teachers in debt up to their eyeballs make around the same amount of money.  There are what..............28 NBA teams who MIGHT draft 30 players a year?  But you go ahead and perpetuate the myth that the only way for a black male to get ahead is to play hoops........ or the NFL.


Why the bitterness towards Parkland?  You saying that a 2 yr college in the trades is worse than a 4 yr degree from the U of I in French Poetry or some other new age  discipline?



rsp wrote on November 17, 2017 at 8:11 am

What's sad is this kid has a dream and the talent, is willing to work for it  and other people think it's wrong for people to encourage him. By the way, my son got a degree at Parkland in welding. Those ads you see for jobs paying $20+ are just so easy to get? Funny how he's working in a different line of work. Just got a promotion too. But he was really interested in welding.

What's wrong is encouraging every kid that the only way out is sports, or collage. Sports could take this kid to collage. That's a step. It's also important he get's educated while he's there.

This is about this kid and only this kid.

1990Urbana wrote on November 14, 2017 at 10:11 pm

All these adults bashing a teenanger. I stand with Kap! Come to Urbana High! 


1990Urbana wrote on November 14, 2017 at 10:11 pm

All these adults bashing a teenanger. I stand with Kap! Come to Urbana High! 


T2 wrote on November 14, 2017 at 11:11 pm

I don't think anyone is bashing Tim Finke--Pappa Finke, yes, but not the kid. I would love to see Bailey play at Urbana or STM -- somewhere where he would be played because of his talent; not cut or benched because of it. As many have said, daddy Finke never should have been allowed to take the coaching spot at Central and then transfer his boys over.  It reeked of issues from the very beginning!!!  I agree we need to "let Bailey play", and for his sake I'd love to see it on a team with a coach who values him.  

Pointblank wrote on November 15, 2017 at 1:11 am
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Where's the News-Gazette prep sports writers on this?

Cobra Soccer Dad wrote on November 15, 2017 at 6:11 am

It seems counterproductive for any coach to cut one of the better kids if you're trying to showcase another kid when you're going to be ousted in the first round of the playoffs.

My guess is there was an attitude problem that Finke didn't feel like dealing with this year. But that is merely a guess and made without any sort of Insider information. If it turns out the coach cut the kid in order to put more of the spotlight on his own kid then he should be fired immediately.

headshaking wrote on November 15, 2017 at 8:11 am

I heard this morning that Tim Finke announced where he was going to college.  Ok, so since it's so early in the season, it doesn't make sense that the decision to cut Bailey was to let Tim shine.  He's already chosen his school.  It really doesn't appear to be a race issue as so many people have pointed out, the majority of the team is black.  So, what's the real scoop here?  There is clearly more to this story.

champaign61821 wrote on November 15, 2017 at 9:11 am

Was the decision to announce early a way to get pressure off Tim and this decision by his dad? No one expected it.

CharacterCounts wrote on November 15, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Why would you support someone or something without knowing both sides of an issue or problem.  Some blindly support this athlete without knowing all the facts.  It is opined regardless of what the facts are and what is the reason this player did not make the team, some will continue to protest.  They have expressed themselves appear biased in their opinion.  They have only stated their opinions as they have not provided any facts to back up their position.

If the coach cut the player due to his concern about attention to his son, then he should be fired.  If he cut the player due to attitude and not being a total team player, then everyone should support the coach.

Question, could the player have a higher opinion of his caliber of play than what the coach has of him.  The coach needs to do what is best for the team not what is best for an individual player.  

Has the coach been successful while coaching at Central?  If so, then his record and reputation speaks for him.  If he has not been successful, ie having a winning record of over .500, then this should be his last year regardless.

cwakefld wrote on November 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm

This particular course of events doesn't seem to make logical sense. It appears that something is missing.

cjwinla wrote on November 15, 2017 at 8:11 pm

I find the comments on this thread very informative about the people of Champaign. A diverse group of opinions for sure, but what I find amazing are the people convinced that young man Bailey is hiding some defect on his character like drugs, bad attitude etc. There is absolutely no there there. His dad works two jobs he has no mother and yet he has overcome some very hard circumstances to have a good grade point average, never had detention, and has been a 2 year starter. Sounds like an All American kid to me... People talk about the fact that the team is majority black so this cannot possibly be about Race. That’s a nonsense analogy because this is not about the team’s makeup. This about the two best players on the team. One white and one black. One got cut the other is playing. Now the comment that really is insulting is that he had a bad attitude. Now First off, When Finke was hired he brought on two assistant coaches, one from Villa Grove and one from Fisher. Hiring two white men from Sundown Towns who have no history, track record, or experience with black players is ludicrous and a slap in the face to the black community. People of color who work with people from Villa Grove in CU know that it’s a town full of Trumpsters who are hostile to black people openly and proud of that fact. Not one sundown town.. TWO ! Again the Community informed the Board this had the potential for negativity with the black players. They ignored those concerns And here we are today. What most of you don’t know, which I do as the author of the Community Alerts is that most teachers in the school are opposed to this action and believe John Woods is the puppeteer orchestrating this chaos. Second, in high school basketball there is usually some type of friction between the best players whom are fighting for college scholarships. Good coaches manage this situations, they use various tools like benchings, run laps, etc. But when the coach has such a huge conflict of interest that is absolutely impossible. Again the fault of Woods who hired Finke. The dirt on this sitch is deep, and when it all comes out good people are going to be shocked at the blatant conspiracy to not only keep Bailey off Central, but to keep him from transferring to another school in Illinois. Stay tuned. 

Ksmack wrote on November 15, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Again walker how can you say there  is the potential for negativity with black players in the plural form since the majority of the team is African American? I don't think anyone said Bailey had any problem with drugs in this thread, I think people are just saying there has to be more to the story...and there is.  Please don't speak as if you know the people of Champaign because you don't live in the community.  This is a great town with some great people, some of which you attempted to demean on social media.   Thats where you lose a lot of credibilty in most people's eyes.  You can spread hate and prejudice but people like you just like to stir the pot and make your efforts meaningless.  Its sad because I think most people want whats best for Dee he's a child for god sake ,but people like you shift the focus off of Dee and onto all this hateful nonsense. 

cjwinla wrote on November 15, 2017 at 11:11 pm

Let’s be very Clear On Facts... This about a Black Player and a White player who are the two best players....I have not demeaned anyone on Social Media anywhere .... and of course there are good people in Champaign... who do you think we are trying to reach! .. .. I’ll put my Townie credentials against anybody but more importantly yYOU don’t have a say in my role in this community .... There is nothing hateful about fighting against racial injustice. If it offends your White Privilege.. Too Bad ! #UHidingLikeACoward

Ksmack wrote on November 16, 2017 at 5:11 am

Who's hiding?  And actually one of your fellow cohorts  posted an email on social media that you wrote referring to people as white supremacists,  so call it what you want.  I did not say there is anything hateful about fighting racial injustice I stand behind that 100%.  What is hateful is the way you are trying to get your message across and your attempts to drive a wedge between people in the community.    I take no offense when people fight for what they believe in as long as they have all the facts . Theres no white privelege here I have worked for everything I have.  Good luck in your fight.

Objective Reporter wrote on November 16, 2017 at 8:11 am

Calling people white supremacist isn't demeaning?  Just because YOU say it's about a black player and a white player, makes it so?  It appears to me that it's about a kid who didn't make the team.  You don't know the why, I don't know the why, and the others commenting in this section don't know the why. wrote on November 16, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Please get the facts straight at least if you are going to comment. The 2 assistant coaches are not from Villa Grove or Fisher. You also have no idea of their experience with people of others races. I know one does s great job at coaching and race is not an issue. I'm not saying your wrong about Bailey playing. Just don't throw innocent people under the bus and assume you know what kind of person they are.

factsarefacts wrote on November 16, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Wow cjwinla, you really have your facts straight! Dude, you need to stop wasting peoples time in even reading your garbage. Too bad Coach Jones didn't suceed in recruiting another area high school player to his team.

Objective Reporter wrote on November 16, 2017 at 8:11 am


BruckJr wrote on November 16, 2017 at 8:11 am

"...the Community informed the board..."  Huh, what does that mean?  I didn't inform the board of anything.  Who do you mean when you say the Community?

headshaking wrote on November 16, 2017 at 8:11 am

So because the assistant coaches are from Villa Grove and Fisher, they MUST be racists?  That is such a racist statement.  I'm really sick of people who are perfectly comfortable placing such judgments on others and then playing the "race card" without anyone looking at just how racist these statements are!  How about you recognize that lumping white people, or any people based upon their race, into one group, is in fact just as racist as lumping all black people into one group?  Just stop already!!!!


When you make comments like this and throw racism into the mix with zero evidence, it just de-legitimizes those situations where actual racism is at play.

davidhosbiggestfan wrote on November 16, 2017 at 9:11 am

I applaud you Mr. Walker, you never let the facts get in the way of your narrative.  Let me remind you I am not white, although for some reason you wanted to tell me I was when you told me about your cool bank account. I know most of the Central staff pretty well, and attended a decent number of games over the years.  Finke did not bring in any coaches from Villa Grove or Fisher.  The video guy's last name is Fisher lives in Villa Grove and is a Central grad who's wife is a minority. He was part of the staff under Davis, W. McClain, S. McClain, and Finke. I find it hard to believe that Finke and Woods would be the decision making crew.  There are about 7 assistants for Central including 2 who are black and graduated from there.  I also know there is at least 1 other black assistant.  I have yet to see any of them comment publicly on the situation.  You would think that if they thought a young black man was wronged they would speak out.  I have yet to hear any of the players speak out against Bailey being cut.  A lot of people on social media have called for the players to boycott practice.  I am assuming this has not happened, or it would have been posted.  For years in this community the cry has been high school basketball does not matter, the offers come from AAU.  If the offers have not come for Bailey, that should open some eyes.  You can not blame that on Tim Finke, as he played for Meanstreets coached by the head coach of Whitney Young.  The games I have been at, there are times where Bailey looks like the best player on the court and there are times when he looks like the worst.  It does not matter if you score 20 if you let your man score 22.  Players like Jonte Coleman and Keon Gill have showed more consistency than Bailey has.  Mr. Walker it is sad that you and Kevin Cobb are using Bailey to try to character assassinate Finke and Woods.  It is sad that you are trying to cause a race war.  It is sad that you believe they only way young black men can go to college is through basketball (it is not, I have a master's degree and could not hit water with my jump shot if I fell out of a boat).  I had dreams of playing in the NFL as a running back.  Can I blame the black coach who moved me to a lineman for taking away my dream?

Objective Reporter wrote on November 16, 2017 at 1:11 pm

If your football coach was white, Walker would take care of blaming him for you.  I hope you stayed home from school after being moved to the line.

davidhosbiggestfan wrote on November 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm

I did not grow up in this community, but since Mr. Walker does not live in this community I am sure he would have just showed up to save the day.  I do need to check the years, it may have been while he was busy trying to fix elections and going to prison.

T2 wrote on November 16, 2017 at 6:11 pm

You ask why neither staff nor teammates have spoken up---RETALIATION runs deep at Central----they all know better than to have an opinion!  

factsarefacts wrote on November 16, 2017 at 9:11 am

Instead of bashing Finke, maybe one should look into why Dee hasn't had 1 single college offer?? Not a single one! From what I hear, he's not a team player and very disrespectful which makes him a very un-coachable kid! And I did see where Finke officially signed the other day so it's not like he needs all the attention this season. Yes people, there's obivously more to this story than what we're all hearing!

mallball wrote on November 16, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Of course, the coach is always right and does what is in the best interest of his players. Every time we have a player/coach issue, we should always side with the coach. Give me a break. It is this mentaliy that has ruined the Champaign and Urbana athletic programs.

For me, the issue is how the coach handled this. Here are the facts:

  •  3 out of  5 coaches voted to keep Bailey - This is a verified fact. If he was such a problem child, why do a majority of the coaches vote to keep him?
  • Coming out of the June open gym sessions, the coaches know who will be on the team. Tryouts are a formality. If you knew in June, why not tell him before the season, so he can transfer? Instead you wait until the tryouts. Yeah, something is going on, it was personal. Who does this to a kid? Even if you don't like him.
  • Bailey has not changed in years. Point being, you started him for 2 years and let him get away with these attitude issues and you wait until his senior year to teach him a "life lesson". Should have cut him his sophmore year? He would have gotten the lesson then and wouldn't be in this situation. Again, wait until his senior year...who does this to a kid?
  • Related to the previous bullet, you let him get away with it, so you have set a precedence and now, in his senior year you change the expectations. Didn't even talk to him about it. How is that fair?
  • Coached Bailey in AAU ball. He's coachable and has always been respectful to me and family. If he didn't listen, I'd bench him. That's the difference. I took the time to get to know Bailey on a personal level. Did his coaches? If you benched him, he'd get the point, so I completely disagree with your comments and your source. Maybe these coaches don't know how to handle their players.
  • I've watched Bailey play for years and I have rarely, if ever, seen him benched or kicked off the team. If he was such a problem, why wasn't he discliplined prior to this either in school or AAU ball? Why didn't the coaches take action then? Maybe he wasn't as big of a problem as everyone is saying? Did the adults drop the ball? These are the questions you need to be asking. Again, youth sports is about wins and losses and paychecks for these coaches. The kids are an after thought. We need more people like Coach V and Chagnon.
  • How much do you have to hate a kid to do this to him his senior year? Couldn't be mature enough to work something out? 3 out o 5 coaches voted to keep him.

Folks can say what they want and assume whatever. Bailey is far from perfect, but he is a teenager, so some of this behavior is expected. It's the behavior of the adults that is the problem. People in this town and the school board need to wake up. This was personal and payback. Nothing more. Nothing less.

It did not have to go down like this. Coaches didn't care. Even on Bailey's worst day, he did not deserve this.

That's the story.





Ksmack wrote on November 16, 2017 at 7:11 pm

i have a question if the coaches knew who would be on the team in June and had the opportunity to tell Dee at that point would that have made it better?  Would the coach and the AD been called White supremacists then? I am asking this question honestly as I have seen some of these people who are fighting for justice for him be extremely hateful and off base.  Would these social justice warriors not have called that a racist move? Or is that even legal according to the IHSA?  It sounds like they would be targeted either way.  Maybe they thought in June he would be on the team.... Perhaps something happened at tryouts.. See when you say "thats the story".... thats really only part of the one still wants to be transparent about what actually went on at the tryout.... and why is the child not enrolled in school? Could that be part of the reasoning as to why? 

cjwinla wrote on November 16, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Absolutely would be a different story. Because then Bailey could have transferred to Centennial or Urbana and played. In fact by making him try out under the IHSA he cannot transfer to another school which is what they wanted... the last thing they wanted was Bailey netting Threes in Finke’s face

Objective Reporter wrote on November 17, 2017 at 9:11 am

Clearly, you don't know the transfer rules.  That was clear when you tried to game the system a few years ago.

T2 wrote on November 16, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Hopefully the same questions would have been asked even if the decision had been made known earlier, given Bailey's undeniable basketball talent. I am saddened this has become a race issue as I think it takes away from the real issue-- the treatment of Bailey and the "gotcha" attitude of the coach--and AD,  if he too was involved in this situation as has been alleged by some who have commented. The whole situation is really just sad. 

T2 wrote on November 16, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Poor attitude & bad behavior obviously are not a death sentence at Central or a cause for removal from the team; otherwise there wouldn't be a player on the team that is starting the year on a 6 game suspension for behavior that occurred before the team was announced..., kinda makes ya go "hmmmmm" doesn't it!!!  I really don't think this is about Bailey's attitude--I believe it is a power play meant to destroy his basketball dreams, his senior year and his spirit. 

cjwinla wrote on November 16, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Breaking News ! Much will be discussed in my Community Alert tomorrow but I wanted to share one tidbit from the meetings this week of which I was informed......

 “ You are always calling for the ball, you always calling for the ball ! And that’s why Finke doesn’t have better offers ! “ - John Woods in a vicious and aggressive tone/manner in the first meeting with Bailey and his family when he  got cut ...#CaseClosed.... the only other information I will share is that as Bailey’s grandmother gave her testimony at today’s meeting on the vile, arrogant and evil rant Woods gave Bailey when he got cut the administration reps were brought to tears ...CRYING over the evil perpetrated by Woods  and he denied none of it .... This is what White Supremacy looks like and this is how it operates... How Unit 4 responds to this travesty of justice will define the District for years to come. 

JamBam wrote on November 17, 2017 at 1:11 am

If the Champaign Central coaches are "White Supremacists", then how come there aren't more white players on the team?  You got a basketball roster that is 95% black, and you still call the white coach racist? lmao.

I'm convinced you are just another character like Saul.  You are intentionally being moronic in order to make everyone think that black people are stupid.  Nobody takes you seriously when you are this far "out there".  

Tim Finke's already signed with a college.  It doesn't matter what offers he gets now.   If Dee were good, he'd have gotten offers in AAU ball. He didn't get any.  So you can't blame the HS coaches for klling his dream.  If Bailey Dee wanted to be on the team, then he should have checked his attitude at the door and did what the coaches say.  If the Head Coach says "my way or the highway", as a HS player you gotta abide by it. Evidently Mr. Dee didn't.

There's no coach in the state that would sabotage his own team so his own son could score more points.  Again, Tim Finke's already signed with Grand Canyon.  It doesn't matter if he averages 5 points a game this year.  

mallball wrote on November 16, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Nailed it......

mallball wrote on November 16, 2017 at 8:11 pm

@Ksmack - If he would have been told before the start of the school year, he would have had options. That's the issue. 

My comment did not mention race. Not sure why you brought this into the conversation. What does others opinion about this being a race issue have to do with my comments?  

It's about doing what is right. I told you the kid wasn't perfect, but neither is mine. Bailey did not deserve this. 

Ksmack wrote on November 16, 2017 at 8:11 pm


I wasnt saying you brought up race but most of the people on social media are making this a racial issue so I was asking if they had let Dee know ahead of time would it still be about race then?  That question wasn't soley directed at your post, so I apologize... I agree its about doing what is right and definately none of our kids are perfect..

cjwinla wrote on November 17, 2017 at 9:11 am

I’m sure that when you think of White Supremacists you think of the far right wingers who march with confederate flags and nazi emblems ...In fact White Supremacy is a state of mind that does not require hatred of other ethnicities, does not mean a WS can’t work with people of color, and does not mean they are bad people that cannot be awoken to their consciousness. White Supremacy is a state of mind that as a white person MY perspective is the only one that matters and that the power vested in me as a white person in this case  elected by white people, that the white perspective shall be the dominant and controlling factor in the school system. When you as a school board member are not engaging with the black community, when you cannot point to any actions where you changed direction on an issue towards a person of color perspective, and most importantly not listening to the concerns of people of color and acting on it... You are practicing White Supremacy. Based upon the testimony in the Bailey meetings  about the racist actions of Woods and Finke, which had Administrators in tears, yet there is still no action taken by the school board and Bailey Dee is gone and Finke gets to stay and play. That is the real shame on this community and yes it was White Supremacy . Bailey Dee is a respectful strong black young man, he did nothing to be treated like dirt by woods/Finke and Amy Armstrong who has the controlling votes on the school Board and despite  being warned this would happen on 2015,  did nothing to protect Bailey Dee. Shameful Indeed 

Objective Reporter wrote on November 17, 2017 at 9:11 am

Where can I get my hands on the testimony of which you speak?  Don't take it personally, but I don't exactly take what you say at face value.