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Archive for the ‘Sac-Jaoquin Section’ Category

CIF: Foreign Students Will Continue to Play Varsity Sports in California

May 7, 2010 5 comments

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has voted down a proposed change to CIF Bylaw 209. As presented, the rule change would have prevented foreign and exchange students from participating in sports at the varsity level in any sport participated in during the year prior to arriving at a CIF school.

Prior Story: Foreign Students Sent to The Stands by proposed CIF Rule Change

CIF Votes to Postpone Final Decision on Rule 600 Change (Outside Competition – Soccer)

May 7, 2010 11 comments

According to good sources, the CIF has voted to indefinitely postpone making a final decision regarding a proposed change to Bylaw 600. As proposed, the rule change would seriously impact club and high school soccer in Northern California.

Click here for background story

Rumor Mill: Is Rocklin High School basketball coach Steve Taylor resigning?

April 8, 2010 12 comments

News Story (4/11/2010): The Sacramento BeeRocklin Coach Steps Down, cites relentless Pace
(Note: End of Sac Bee story mentions reason for Rocklin being placed on probation by CIF)

Rumor: I’ve now heard the entire coaching staff (varsity, JV and freshman) resigned, not just Taylor. Can anyone validate this? If true, what was the reason given?

News Story (4/9/2010)Auburn JournalRocklin’s Taylor resigns as basketball coach

UPDATE (4/9/2010): Word coming in now is Steve Taylor has resigned as coach for Rocklin varsity boys basketball. More to come as information rolls my way.

(4/9/2010) Recent activity on this web site suggests something might be in the works regarding Steve Taylor’s tenure as Rocklin High School’s varsity boys basketball coach.

Was it something a note someone slipped my way on a napkin? An anonymous email or post? Neither. It was something found in this site’s readership reports. Specifically site search terms and pages read.

Over the past week a couple of things have caught my eye.

First, when some arrives on this site as a result of a Yahoo, Bing or Google search, the search terms used to get here are captured and displayed to me as the site administrator. During the past week, I noted quite a few people arrived at the site using search terms containing one or more of the following words or strings:

– Steve Taylor
– Rocklin
– Resigned
– Rockin High School
– CIF sanctions
– recruiting violations

Second, the first story I ever published on this site, Rocklin and Roseville High School recruiting violations, has recently seen a resurgence in activity. The original story was posted on March 2, 2010. One would expect readership of the story to decrease over time, which it had. That was until last week when traffic began to climb again.

Now, I am not in the know as to whether Steve Taylor is going to resign, but if I were a betting man…

In the end, the truth will come out. I may be wrong in my analysis, I may be right. Either way, the data analysis certainly is interesting… even as a conversation piece.

UPDATE: Barry Makes Local Basketball Debut

March 17, 2010 2 comments

Youth Basketball Academy (YBA) Dawgs varsity team opens AAU season at Hardwood Palace in Rocklin

By Christian Hendricks, chendricks@cifwatchdog.com

Remi Barry Recruiting WebsiteClick here

Credit: Christian Hendricks

LOOMIS, California – Remi Barry, the French national transfer student denied eligibility to play high school basketball by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), will finally hit the floor Saturday when the YBA Dawgs open up the Spring AAU competitive basketball season at Hardwood Palace in Rocklin. The 6’7” Del Oro High School transfer student will play alongside a lineup of Sierra Foothills League (SFL) star players from Nevada Union, Rocklin, Granite Bay and Del Oro. Also included on the roster is 6’9” Yuba City star Zack Nelson. Other key players from Colfax and Vista Del Lago are likely to join the squad.

Barry hasn’t played in a high school game since February of 2009, but worked out with the Golden Eagles all season. “I’m really excited about playing this weekend,” Barry said, “I really would have liked to play high school basketball this year, but AAU is a good substitute since I’ll be playing with and against the area’s and nation’s best players.”

Barry did not suit up for the Golden Eagles this season after the CIF ruled his transfer violated its bylaws. Barry’s appeal of the CIF ruling was denied by a CIF appeals-panel in January. Barry and his lawyer then filed for a Stay in Placer Superior Court that would have allowed him to play prior to a court hearing on the merit of the CIF’s initial denial. The plea for a Stay was unsuccessful and Barry was resigned to cheering for his teammates from the bench for the remainder of the SFL season and post-season play.

Coached by Millard “Doc” Haynes, the YBA Dawgs varsity-level travel team is expected to fair well locally and at NCAA-sanctioned tournaments in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. “Last year, we put a lot of top-tier teams on notice at sanctioned events, “said Coach Haynes, “This year we expect to do even better. We expect to win.”

Founded in 2004, YBA basketball teaches local youth basketball players the fundamentals of the game in a competitive environment and provides older players with the opportunity to be seen by college coaches and potentially secure scholarships.

Barry is still a highly recruited D1 college prospect despite missing his senior year.  “We’re confident YBA will provide Remi and our other seniors with greater exposure to college recruiters and coaches,” said YBA Program Director Ken Gee, “These are talented kids who will likely be scholarship players in college next fall.” During the past seasons, several YBA players secured playing commitments and scholarships to Harvard, St. Michael’s, St. Mary’s and UC Davis among other schools.

Saturday’s tip-off is at 3:30PM on Court 2 at Hardwood Palace. YBA matches up against Carson Valley AAU out of Minden, Nevada. Hardwood Palace is located at 1091 Tinker Road in Rocklin. For more information call (916) 543-4433.

Related links:

Youth Basketball Academy – http://www.ybdawgs.com
YBA Dawgs Varsity – http://www.ybadawgs.com/P.aspx?PageId=58426
Hardwood Palace – http://www.hardwoodpalace.com/
Tournament Schedule – http://xtremehoops.us/schedule/current.pdf

The CIF’s Kangaroo Appeals Court: Where Fair is Not Fair When it Comes to Eligibility.

March 10, 2010 12 comments

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) trades on the premise of being fair when it comes to evaluating student-athletes’ appeals of eligibility decisions. However, a detailed review of its own rules reveals its appeals processes to be nothing close to fair. In fact, it looks more like a fraternity or “old boy” club giving itself the flexibility to dispense with fairness in arbitrary and capricious ways while taking care of its family, friends and “fraternity brothers”.

According to CIF rules, a student has the right to appeal a decision made by CIF regarding eligibility at an appeals hearing set by CIF. As detailed in Parent Handbook II: Understanding the Transfer Eligibility Appeal Process, appeal hearings are held before an impartial review officer or impartial panel of three persons.

A cursory review of the rules and words used to describe said hearing would lead most reasonable people to believe the process to be no different than a traditional court of law. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

According the Parent Handbook:

“Appeals Panel members or Review Officers may be current or retired school district administrators or athletic directors, retired or current athletic administrators or retired Section officers. No Appeals Panel member may be employed by, or retired from, the schools, school districts, leagues or conferences involved in your appeal. The State Appeals Office sets the Appeals Panel.”

So, in the case of a CIF appeal hearing, it’s truly not possible for panel members to be impartial (definition) since the all have current or previous ties to CIF, be it directly or indirectly. A recent Auburn Journal story by Eric Gourley offers good insight into the appeals panel selection process.

Given panel members’ ties to CIF, it’s not unfair to conclude each would naturally have a predisposition to find in favor of and protect CIF. Even if panel members didn’t, the mere perception of partiality should cause one pause. It’s akin to having a fraternity brother or cousin on the jury at your own trial. No lawyer would allow such a thing to happen. It wouldn’t be fair. What CIF has is not impartial. It’s a process slanted in favor of CIF.

There is a simple solution to this problem. Add non-related individuals to the appeals panel. CIF would no doubt fight this, arguing non-related individuals wouldn’t be familiar with CIF Bylaws. While this perspective sounds reasonable, it’s a ruse. The assumption that CIF-related panel members understand the rules is simply wrong. The appeals panel I am familiar with wasn’t as familiar with the rules as one would hope and believe, especially with so much at stake. Sadly, nor was the CIF lawyer. Regardless, we’re not talking about rocket science here. It wouldn’t take too long for an “outsider” to bone up on CIF Bylaws and listen to a student-athlete’s case before making a decision.

So, what’s CIF afraid of here? Probably what it professes to seek, fairness. Introducing outsiders to the appeals process and panel instantly introduces transparency and fairness while, at the same time, eliminating cronyism and favoritism, perceived or real. We all know the stories. School A violates rules and CIF looks the others way. School B violates rules and the book gets thrown at them. CIF answer to this is, all cases are different. Alright then, if this isn’t the case, CIF should be willing to prove it by releasing facts around cases instead of hiding behind statements like, “It’s not CIF practice to release information…”

The use of the word “hearing” by CIF should also make one shudder. Clearly, CIF wants people to believe its “hearing” process is similar to that of a true court of law. You know, the one with due process and rules of evidence. Unfortunately, CIF’s “hearing” is not even a distant cousin of how you probably think a hearing is conducted. CIF’s Parent Handbook is clear about its appeal hearing procedures, “The technical rules of evidence and rules for the examination of witnesses do not apply.”

So, let’s break this down. The simplest summary is, California Rules of Evidence are NOT followed and, as such, hearsay evidence and innuendo are fully admissible and given standing. What’s that mean? It means CIF doesn’t have to prove its case with facts. A statement made by a third-party to the effect of, “I heard so and so say…” can lead to the denial of eligibility for a student athlete. Period. It’s truly an anything goes situation. The infamous, “he said, she said,” we all try to avoid is in full play.

Evidence as presented by CIF need be nothing more than innuendo and hearsay. Regardless of fact-based submissions in defense of the student athlete, ALL submissions are tragically treated equally and evaluated by an “impartial” (see above) appeals panel. Would you favor your fraternity brother or a stranger in a “he said, she said” argument?

CIF has in effect created a Kangaroo Court.

As I’ve said in previous posts, most people are too lazy to research and truly understand CIF Bylaws and rules.  Instead people take what’s implied in CIF statements at face value. The Kangaroo Court used for eligibility appeal hearings is a far cry from a true court of law. In the case of student athletes, it merely a tool for CIF to fool the public into believing there’s an appeals process, appeals panel and appeals hearing that’s fair and follows due process like our true court of law.

In the end it’s a way for CIF to continue its unfair and biased way of dispensing its version of fair while keeping the public at bay. This is indeed a sad situation for schools and student-athletes and is likely the underpinning of CIFs image problem with the public.

The fix is easy. CIF needs to establish a true appeals process for student-athletes. This is not too big an “ask” as far as I can tell.

So, what are you waiting for CIF?

Lies, Damned Lies and CIF Statistics

We all know how important the use of statistics can be to winning an argument or swaying public opinion. We also know politicians have become experts at creating and using statistics on the fly with little worry of backlash given the public’s limited appetite to question or do the research required to validate. Politicians prey on laziness and ignorance.

Apparently, CIF officials know this all to well and have no problem invoking the same strategy when it comes to getting what they want. Especially when that something is winning an appeals case or making CIF and its commissioners look good in the eyes of peers, the press, CIF members, parents, the public and, most importantly, the legal system.

In a recent article, State CIF Appeals Coordinator, Bob Wallace told the Auburn Journal, “…the CIF hears more than 100 appeals challenging section rulings statewide each year, on average. Nearly 60 percent favor the athlete appealing…” That does sound awfully good – six of ten athletes appealing a CIF decision win upon appeal. That kind of number makes it look like CIF is actually listening to appellants and upon hearing “evidence” contrary to CIF findings, overturning its original decision. On the flipside, it makes the 40% of denied appeals seem to be really bad since CIF is, after all, so accommodating when it comes to appeals.

Mother always said, “If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is too good to be true.” That’s right everyone, what Bob Wallace said was factually incorrect. Not true. Flat our wrong.

According to a CIF Economic Viability Report submitted to the State Legislature and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in January of 2010, CIF eligibility decisions were overturned on appeal less than 40% of the time. The facts show CIF decisions were overturned only 30.4% and 36.8% of the time during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years respectively. For those interested in how their section fared, the document breaks out appeals hearing results by CIF section.

Seems like the headline for this story and my mother were right.

Rocklin and Roseville High School recruiting violations

March 2, 2010 32 comments

Update (4/11/2010): The Sacramento BeeRocklin Coach Steps Down, Cites Relentless Pace
(Note: Story notes reason for Rocklin being placed on probation by CIF)

(March 2, 2010) Evidently Rocklin and Roseville High Schools have been sanctioned and placed on “Level One Probation” by CIF for infractions CIF won’t disclose. I contacted Pete Saco via email and he wrote, “It is not the practice of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section to discuss any sanctions levied against any member school with the media or general public.” Pete then instructed me to contact each school regarding the nature of the infraction. I do know from a post on CIF Sac-Jaoquin section’s website the infractions were violation of Bylaw 510 (recruiting violation).

Seems to me if CIF were acting in the best interest of the public and its member schools, it would readily disclose the details of the infractions and penalties imposed rather than hide behind a website post and the offending schools.

I guess I am left to speculate. And, I can do that. This email – October email Chain – obtained from CIF, establishes Roseville High School violated CIF Bylaws by actively recruiting Remi Barry. In the email, Coach Granucci approaches Keith Moss and pretty much begs for him to place Remi at Roseville High.

The email also implicates Steve Taylor of Rocklin. Not for recruiting Barry, but for recruiting Moss’ son to play at Rocklin. I don’t know if Granucci’s claim against Taylor is true, but either it is or someone is lying.

Clearly, there’s a serious violation of CIF rules plus a serious allegation of a violation detailed in this email. Is it to much to ask CIF to come clean on what’s going on here? The best thing CIF can do is provide transparency with regards to the sanctions against Rocklin and Roseville. Were the sanctions related to Barry or were the sanctions for earlier infractions?

To be clear, CIF is not coming clean. Instead they’re using their business as usual approach and hiding behind walls. Walls that clearly need to come down. Don’t believe it? Well, here’s Pete Saco’s response –Saco response to inquiry – to my detailed request for information.