Not Dunn at MHS

Taylor will finish his prep career here

Jerry Dunn’s choice of words the day he was hired to rejoin John Beilein at the University of Michigan were likely harmless, but certainly interesting.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for me and my family to come to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan basketball program,” said Dunn, who was Beilein’s assistant at West Virginia University the past four years.
Dunn’s family includes his 17-year-old son, Taylor, a junior who started for the Morgantown High team that advanced to the second round of the state tournament this year. Yet Taylor won’t be joining his father in Michigan.
“I’m going to finish and play my senior year at MHS,” Dunn said Wednesday. “It’s going to be hard with my dad not being here and all that, but I really like it here and I want to finish my senior year here.”
Jerry Dunn was officially hired Monday at Michigan, which immediately created two concerns for the Mohigans program. The first, and most obvious, was whether or not Dunn would stay.
“I want his family to do what they’re comfortable with and I hope they’re comfortable with him finishing here with his friends and teammates his senior year,” MHS coach Tom Yester said. “The main thing is I hope it works out for Taylor and his family and what they want to do.”
The second issue pertained to Taylor’s eligibility. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission has a rule which states student-athletes are ineligible if their parents are married and live in separate residences in different school attendance zones.
Dunn, however, is exempt from the rule.
“He’s already been at Morgantown High School for over 365 days with his parents, therefore he can continue to play there,” WVSSAC executive director Mike Hayden said. “We don’t try to uproot students.”
In fact, Hayden said Dunn’s eligibility wouldn’t be affected if his mother joined Jerry in Michigan.
“He could live with anybody,” Hayden said.
The eligibility issue first gained notoriety locally two years ago when University High center Grant Meadows enrolled as a sophomore. He moved from Johnstown, Ohio, with his father while his mother and six siblings remained in Ohio to deal with family matters.
Meadows was ineligible for about a month at the start of the season. UHS appealed the ruling, but before the hearing was heard the rest of Meadows’ family joined him and his father in Morgantown.
“I think it’s a good rule in that they’re trying to keep things as fair as possible and trying to keep one parent from moving with a child to another school district for athletic purposes,” said UHS athletic director Jeff Bailey. “The rule does not allow people to do that. You have to make a bona fide move with the whole family.”
Dunn has been at MHS for three years and averaged 10 points per game last season. The Mohigans have three other starters and three regulars back, and Yester anticipates contributions from a few junior varsity players.
“As far as this area is concerned, I think we’re going to be real hard to beat,” Dunn said. “Our class plays ball together every day and it looks like we’re going to be real deep. I think we’ll be good and I hope we’ll get back to Charleston again.”
The timing is right for Dunn. He began attracting interest from colleges this past season and knows his play in camps and with AAU teams this summer, as well as with the Mohigans next season, will determine what is next. He said the resolution of his dad’s employment and his own future “puts the mind at ease now.”
“It’s important because I know I’ll have my family at my side and I know my dad is going to get to see me a lot during the summer,” Dunn said. “Hopefully things won’t change that much. Even though things are changing, it’s good to know the family things and the internal stuff is about the same for me.”

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post file photo
Morgantown High’s Taylor Dunn drives to the basket in a game against rival University High. Dunn’s father, Jerry, recently accepted a job on John Beilein’s basketball staff at Michigan, but Dunn will remain in Morgantown for his senior year at MHS. “It’s
going to be hard with my dad not being here and all that, but I really like it here and I want to finish my senior year here.”