My faithful reader, all one of me, knows I'm an avid runner. My goal is to get 100 miles in each month. Some months that's a hard goal to reach and other months I'm an over achiever. But on these runs is where the magic happens. I've written best sellers, composed the blog post that will launch my writing career, I've written the next Harry Potter screen play and of course I've solved all the world's problems. But then I sit down at my desk and nothing. Seriously, nothing. It's not the weather. It's not the clothes (in fact I'm writing this blog in my running outfit because I'm just about to take my daughter to driver's ed and run while she is in class). I'm not sure what it is. I used to be really good about blogging and putting my thoughts down on the screen. But I haven't been very good about that lately. Not sure I want to change, but today I'm sitting here writing something.
We have a local high school that has an outstanding football team. We are talking ranked in the top 10 NATIONALLY, they are so good. It has come to light that Bellevue High School may not have been playing completely by the rules. I'll let you do your own research on the subject but here are my thoughts. (Google it because there are so many articles out there on this that I couldn't list them all).
The center, as I see it, is the Booster Clubs (ie, football/school parents) paying for kids tuition at a "private alternative" high school. They would notice a athlete from somewhere outside their school boundaries and recruit them to play for Bellevue and because they needed academic help would pay for them to attend this other school. (Students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average.) They would help the athlete with finding an address inside the boundaries (some are alleged to be false or made up addresses), so they are eligible to "attend" Bellevue High. Sometimes the athletes didn't physically live there. It is also rumored that the grades given at this school were not correct grades and there might be grade inflation or "misreporting" of some of the athlete's grades. All so the athlete could play on the Bellevue foot ball team. Now this is a team you want to be on. Division 1 colleges recruit from this school. NFL careers are made from this school. But the rules were broken.
But this year Bellevue played Eastside Catholic in the state championship. What is the difference? Eastside Catholic recruits it's players--they don't all live within a 5 mile radius of the school. By the way Eastside Catholic won.
The difference is rules and obedience to the rules.
The WIAA rules governing a private school are different than those governing a public school and each school must obey the rules outlined for their type of school. It looks like Bellevue didn't.
Why am I a little upset about this?
1. My children have had to prove that they live in the boundaries of our school just to try out for a sport. I have had to bring in utility bills, birth certificates, passports and driver's licenses to prove that my children are not only mine, but that they live in the home we say we live in.
2. My children were not given spots on the school team for political reasons. I can only imagine how some of the other Bellevue students who did NOT make the football team must feel. Colleges and careers are changed.
3. I feel that parents who buy privileges for their children in a dishonest way are setting bad examples for the next generation.
4. I believe spots on sports teams must be earned, not bought nor given.
I don't know what the fall out but I hope it is corrected, fixed, punished and we let kids play sports because it is healthy and good.
PS: I hate this as much as doping in professional sports. It cheapens it for the rest of us.
OK, I've decided to break my ramblings into different post. so #2 (if I ever write it will be next).