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Posts Tagged ‘Prep Sports’

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

Foreign Students Sent to The Stands by proposed CIF Rule Change

April 15, 2010 6 comments

Revision of CIF Bylaw 209 (Foreign Student Eligibility)
 would limit eligibility of all students attending a member school on an approved exchange program and all foreign transfer students. Students granted limited eligibility would be limited for one year (from the date of transfer) to non-varsity competition in the CIF sports they participated in during the previous 12 calendar months but may participate in varsity competition in all other CIF sports.

(April 15, 2010) The California Interscholastic Federation’s (CIF) proposed change to Bylaw 209 (Click here to read CIF document in full) effectively eliminates foreign students’ ability to participate in sports at the varsity level in any sports the student participated in during the twelve months preceding enrollment. The CIF plans to vote on this proposal at its May 7-8 Spring meeting in Sacramento at the Embassy Suites. (Note: see end of story for “How you can help stop this” information)

CIF believes recent violations of recruiting rules by a few exchange programs requires action – drastic action – to be taken to keep things right.

“It has been extremely apparent the last few years that more and more students are not being randomly placed in approved foreign exchange programs.  Rather, through various means the foreign student is asking to be placed at a specific school [for] athletically motivated reasons. Four (4) foreign exchange programs have been placed on probation for this year for violating CIF 510.” (Click here to read CIF document in full)

The proposed change addresses CIF concerns by allowing exchange and foreign students varsity participation only in sports they had not participated in, at any level, during the past twelve months:

“Foreign Exchange students transferring under the auspices of a CIF-approved foreign exchange program from a school located outside the United States, a U.S. Military Base, a U.S. Territory or Canada to a CIF member school may be granted residential eligibility for all CIF athletic competition EXCEPT varsity level competition in sports in which the student has competed at any level of play for a school or club during the 12 calendar months preceding the date of transfer to the CIF member school. (Click here to read CIF document in full)

Simply put, no matter the level of participation during the preceding twelve months, an exchange or foreign student would not be given varsity status. JV to varsity? No. Freshman to varsity? No. Club to varsity? No.

While seemingly sensible given the proposed rules’ congruence with similar eligibility and transfer rules for US students, the rule change when understood in context of US Immigration rules around foreign and exchange students, winds up creating a situation where these students won’t be able to participate in varsity sports.

Here’s why.

First, foreign exchange programs limit student’s attendance at US High Schools to a maximum of one academic year. Once a student’s exchange year is completed, the student is required by US immigration law to return to their home country for two years before returning to the United States. (Click here to read US Immigration Laws related to exchange students)

Second, foreign students attending high school in the US on an F-1 Visa are limited by law to one year of public high school attendance. There is no limit placed on these students’ attendance at private schools. (Click here to read US Immigration Laws related to foreign students)

Given US law limits foreign exchange and foreign students attendance at public schools to one year, no foreign exchange or foreign student attending a public high school would be able to participate in a varsity sport after the limited eligibility period expired since they’d no longer attend the school or would have returned to their country of origin.

The only possibility for foreign students to play varsity sports would be through attendance at a private school since US law does not restrict the length of foreign students attendance at private schools. Here a student would have to wait one year before playing a varsity sport but the student would still be around since the one-year rule only applies to public schools.

The short here is an exchange or foreign student attending a public high school will not be able to participate in his or her “sport of record”. That’s the price they’d pay for electing to participate in an exchange program or attend high school in the US. That’s also the price they’d pay for historical recruiting rules violations done by a few schools.

Our view is this is the classic case of “kick the dog”. The real culprits are not the students. The real culprits are the exchange programs and coaches who deliberately “work the system” to get star players into varsity programs.

A better solution to enact would be to seriously penalize exchange programs, schools and coaches found to be violating CIF rules. “Probation” for violations isn’t enough. It’s a slap on the wrist that causes no pain to a program, school or coaching staff. It just means they’ll work harder to not get caught the next time.

Why not impose sanctions that matters? Something with teeth in it like forfeited games for first time violations. That would put violators on notice and certainly decrease the number of attempts to “work the system.”

Penalizing students is not the right way to handle this problem. There are more students following the rules than not. Why throw the baby out with the bath water?

If you’re reading this CIF, go after the violators not the students.

How can you help?

If you’d like to voice your displeasure with the proposed change to CIF Bylaw 209, contact CIF Executive Director, Marie Ishida via email at ishidasan@cifstate.org or call her at (916) 239.4477.  You can find CIF section commissioner contact information at http://cifstate.org/about/sections/index.html.

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.

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?

Assembly Bill 352 needs to be passed. YOU can help!

Did you know Assemblywoman Audra Strickland authored a Bill last year striking right at the heart of the CIF?

The main thrust of Assembly Bill 352 (AB 352) requires CIF to comply with the Calfornia Public Records Act. As such, CIF will be treated as a public agency and required to provide the public with access to all records related to its operation. AB 352 also includes language permitting CIF to redact sensitive personal information when releasing records to the public, but does not allow withholding of records or documents for this reason.

The passage of AB 352 will finally lift the veil of secrecy CIF has operated under for years. No longer will CIF’s media silence and refusal to produce documents related to its activities and decision be allowed. The public will finally gain access to CIF records. A new era of CIF transparency and accountability will arrive when this Bill is passed.

As you probably guessed, CIF has lobbied hard to kill this Bill. This despite a unanimous committee vote by the Assembly in April of 2009 to move the bill along. They don’t want people knowing the truth. On the other side of the coin, the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA) publicly supports passage of AB 352. In June of 2009, CNPA sent a letter to Assemblywoman Strickland detailing its support of the Bill.

So where is AB 352 today? In May of 2009, it was referred to the Committee on Rules (document) which is chaired and vice-chaired by Ted Lieu and Ted Gaines respectively. It sits in Committee today, waiting to be finalized and passed. Unless the public lets the legislature know it wants AB 352 to pass, it is likely to die in Committee.

How can you help?

Contact the following people to let them know your story and that you want AB 352 passed now. Also, tell your friends to do the same:

Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (Author of AB 352)
Phone: 916.319-2037
E-Mail: Assemblymember.Strickland@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblyman Ted Lieu (Chair, Committee on Rules)
Phone: 916.319-2053
E-mail:Assemblymember.Lieu@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblyman Ted Gaines (Vice Chair, Committee on Rules)
Phone: 916.319.2004
E-mail: Assemblymember.Gaines@assembly.ca.gov

Let’s work together to let the State know we’ve had enough of status quo from the CIF and passage of AB 352 is a big step in the right direction towards changing the organization for the better.

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.