Randy McIlwain, NBC 5
Some student athletes at Deion Sanders Primer Prep Academy were ruled ineligible by a District 11-3A executive committee.
Several members of the basketball team at Deion Sanders' charter school have been benched before they could hit the court.
District 11-3A's executive committee on Wednesday ruled three transfer students from Arlington Grace Prep ineligible for play this school year.
Karviar Shepard, Damian Collins and Emmanuel Mundiay were three of four Prime Prep Academy students ruled ineligible.
Jordan Mickey was approved to play.
"We just feel that these kids were recruited for athletic purposes -- that's the issue," said Aaron Emeyabbi, of the Ferris Independent School District, the lone committee member to vote against all four students.
The committee accused Prime Prep of recruiting the players, many of whom are nationally ranked Division 1 college prospects, and their coach.
"The kids that have the ranking by their name -- those are the ones they're focused on," Sanders said.
Sanders said only the guardianship of Shepard, who has already verbally committed to play at TCU was in question. The boy reportedly lives with his sister, and his mother is not consistently in his life.
"They just took the right to override our paperwork," said D.L. Wallace, CEO of Prime Prep.
The committee also ruled against three football players, all transfers from Denton Ryan High School. Denton Ryan's coach, Joey Florence, alleged that the players were recruited through Sanders' Truth Youth Sports Organization.
Sanders said that parents choose his charter school for financial and academic reasons.
There is no tuition to attend Prime Prep, and each student receives a laptop computer to assist with classroom assignments and homework.
The decision will not affect Prime Prep's ability to play varsity basketball. The school will still have a team and play a district schedule.
Sanders said Prime Prep would appeal Wednesday's decision to the University Interscholastic League, which governs Texas high school athletics.