Difference between revisions of "Basileus Incident"

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[[Category: Mysteries]]

Latest revision as of 13:45, 25 April 2020

Basileus is the pseudonym used by a probable USC student who was involved in a California high school quizbowl scandal in December 2005.

The Event

At Trojan Wars in 2005, a high school tournament run by USC, a team from Amelia High School of Ohio won. They did so in extremely impressive fashion, putting up 550 points per game while their leading scorer, a so-called "Basileus," put up an unheard of 232 individual points per game while having a 71 to 2 power to neg ratio. Adding to the bizarreness of the team's performance, they were a below average team in terms of converting bonuses, converting only 16 points per bonus whereas four other teams in the tournament finished with bonus conversions higher than 20.

The Confusion

A post was made by Charles Meigs calling for explanations of this unprecedented performance. Many Ohio quizbowl alums noted that insofar as they knew, Amelia High School had never been more than a third-tier team, a team that was only a threat on a municipal level and only on weird, bizarrely formatted questions. Within twelve hours of the original posting, a user by the name of "dafirenze" purported to be a Southern California regular awed by Basileus' performance demanded the playoff stats from the tournament, for the mighty Basileus had put up 800 points in one game and had performed much better overall. He even tried to get into his own mind in the third person, saying that "maybe he didn't feel the need to take things so seriously since he was crushing the opposition...I saw this kid play, and it was just scary...I remember him letting a few teams get out of negative points just to save them the {sic} embarassment. At least that's what he told me. However, in the second round of the playoffs, he creamed one team 840-0, so I doubt his claim of mercy."

The Scandal

Not knowing his own administrative capabilities, Pat Freeburn revealed dafirenze as Paul Harold, a player who, according to a quick Internet search, was a member of and seemingly the top player of Amelia High School. Offended at Freeburn's disrespect for his right to privately wax orgasmic about himself in the third person, Paul Harold concocted another lie, claiming to be the second player on that mighty Amelia team. This led to arguably his most memorable post, claiming to have heard "all about it on the flight back," and that "he might just end up going to USC." Other teams had performed "irregularly" due to the "scare factor," and the (NAQT A-series) questions were easy and the competition quite poor (this at a tournament which featured eventual top-15 finisher at HSNCT Santa Monica). Soon after, through further "sleuthing" by Charles, it was discovered that Paul Harold had accepted a scholarship to USC and was at the time of the tournament attending USC as part of the Resident Honors Program, a program that allows high school students to forego their senior year and attend the college as a freshman. [1]

The Sockpuppet

Shortly after this revelation, a new poster purporting to be an Amelia High PTA mom and parent of one of Paul's quizbowl cohorts unraveled Paul Harold's ill-conceived lies by claiming that Paul was a good-hearted kid who would never cheat, and, oh yeah, that he was Amelia's star player. This clearly contradicted Paul Harold's claim of being the second banana, and Harold was forced to admit to being Basileus. Not addressing the charges that he was a college student and therefore ineligible and acting in horrible faith in attending the tournament, he tried to suggest that his exceedingly minor local accomplishments were indicative of a player who could put up the numbers put up at Trojan Wars. He chided the quizbowl community for ignoring his great accomplishments and left forever. To this day, he has not attended any tournament on the West Coast for which he is legitimately qualified.

The Denouement

A Facebook search confirms that Paul Harold, former Amelia High School student, is currently a USC student (citation needed). However, in classic split personality fashion, his overachieving alter-ego Basileus appears to be attending Harvard (citation needed). It might also be worthwhile to note that among his friends on Facebook is at least one former member of the USC quizbowl team. Though it has never been firmly established that Paul Harold cheated at Trojan Wars, his persistent attempts to lie and cover up his actions in a public forum, in addition to the gross immorality of entering a high school tournament as a college player, seem to make the case for Paul Harold's defense extraordinarily flimsy and weak. A theory that Mr. Harold is an avatar of Subash Maddipoti has been thoroughly discredited.

External Links

Basileus's Mighty Prelim Line
Basileus Uncovered
Firsthand accounts mixed with Basileus jokes