Friday, August 28, 2015

Hypocrisy and Injustice in High School Athlete Transfer Rules

High school sports gone bad again. This stuff has been going on since my days in Los Angeles in the early 80s. Ridiculous! Let the kids play - grownups quit interfering. Amazing the same governing body trashes this one kid's career, while blatant stuff like this is going on at Calabasas High in LA area - 30 football players transfer over the past couple years.

Here is my letter published in Aug 23 Auburn Journal:

Reader input: CIF goes too far — again

I was extremely disturbed to read of the ineligibility ruling of Colfax High School athlete Justus Spillner. Heads up, I don’t know him, nor am I a supporter of Colfax football. However, the CIF has once again become carried away with the importance of high school sports, enough to irreparably harm the life of a young student-athlete by stealing something that can never be regained: his senior season.

Uprooting from a familiar environment and transferring high schools is never an easy or fun decision for an athlete or family. The CIF ruling that a transfer is “athletically motivated” is a random judgment that could apply to any transfer candidate who participates in sports. What if an ace reporter on the school newspaper transfers to a new school — will she be deemed “journalistically motivated” and forced to sit out a few issues?

Besides, who cares if a transfer is athletically motivated? Our local high school athletes do not have NFL career prospects predicated on achieving competitive balance in their high school leagues.

Furthermore, the CIF’s heavy-handed selective denying of transfer eligibility is comically dwarfed by the reality that we have geographically constrained public schools competing against private schools that are totally unencumbered: they can recruit aggressively, offer tuition scholarships, and draw from all over the metro area.

Theoretically, every member of the Jesuit soccer team attending that school could be “athletically motivated” and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. In recent years, we’ve seen the CIF-SJS shut down Placer football playoffs on a paperwork technicality with a foster youth (thankfully, a judge intervened); we’ve seen elite international youth basketball player Remi Barry banished to the Del Oro sidelines (denying all local players an opportunity to broaden their competitive experience by playing with a top level talent), and now we are sticking it to another kid who followed all the rules but offended someone’s shortsighted and distorted view of competitive fairness. Hey Justus, maybe Jesuit needs a quarterback?

Brad Kearns, Auburn

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