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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.

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And the moral of the story is…

Let’s start with the end.

“If we start interpreting every single rule, we would be so bogged down,” [CIF] Southern Section spokesman Thom Simmons said. “It would bring this organization to a standstill.” (story)

No one wants to be bogged down or at a standstill, right? In my opinion, the potential standstill or bog-down aren’t the real issue though. It’s really about the potential increased cost of having someone interpret the rules and apply them based on the circumstances. CIF believes it costs more to be reasonable. Lord knows our real judicial system relies on interpretation and gives plenty of consideration to circumstance. So why can’t CIF?

Bogged down? More expensive? Sounds plausible, but let’s think it through for a second. If reasonably-minded adults evaluated CIF decisions without its Bylaws, I bet their “performance” would be better than CIFs and it would cost a whole lot less to defend challenged decisions. As a matter of point, CIF spends more than $1.1 million each year on legal fees (document). The majority, more than $800,000, apparently is straight-up legal fees associated with defending itself at appeals hearings and in court challenges.

Here are a couple of real-life scenarios to consider – First, in 2005, “A high school relay team, among the fastest in California, is disqualified from a championship race because one of the runners is wearing different-colored underpants.” (Story) Second, “A baseball team wins its first-round playoff game, 4-0, then must forfeit because its coach, who had been suspended for a game, is seen watching — but not coaching — from down the street.” (Story)

Yes, this sounds ridiculous but in both cases CIF rules were upheld. In the case of the baseball coach, he should have probably watched the game at home via streaming video or at least from two or more blocks away. And I’m sure track fans were aghast at the sight of three chaps wearing one color underpants and their amigo wearing another.

Could CIF think for a second and be fair and reasonable here? Heck no! No one wants to get bogged down, you know. I don’t even need to go further here to have proven my point and won my bet. Any reasonably-minded adult would have clearly looked beyond these “infractions”. Especially when considering what was at stake.

Sadly, stories like this abound in California. Ask around and I’m sure you’ll quickly find someone who can tell you a story of the rigidity demonstrated by CIF in applying its rules – Rigidity that flies in the face of common sense and fairness as we know it.

 In a sorry attempt to clarify CIF’s position in regards to the relay and baseball teams, Jim Staunton, then commissioner of CIF Southern Section had this to say, “It can even appear to be a minor or a small point, but … our obligation is to uphold [CIF rules] as much as, maybe personally, we may not like to. Otherwise, there are no rules.”

Hey Jim, I hope when you and others at CIF wind up in a court of law looking for leniency, the judge looks you square in the eye and says, “No interpretation here folks. We can’t afford to get bogged down.”

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.