Timeout with Tambo:Explaining semifinal games and CIF rulings
Coach Damon Baldwin’s No. 3 seeded Bulldog football team will be hosting the CIF Division III semifinal game at the Dawg Pound this Friday. The highest seeded team gets to host the semifinal game, and when the brackets work out correctly, the No. 2 seed hosts the No. 3 seed.
The Bulldogs get a home game because they will play Serra High, the seventh seed. Although Serra played Cathedral Catholic and lost 55-7 in a showdown for the City League championship, the game was later ruled a forfeit for Cathedral Catholic.
The reason for the forfeit was that Cathedral Catholic did not turn in the proper paperwork on a transfer student. Cathedral Catholic discovered the error when doing the paperwork for the winter season. To the school’s credit, it self-reported the error, and knew that it would be penalized. The CIF ruled that Cathedral Catholic had to forfeit all games that the ineligible player played in, and he played in every game. The CIF has a rule that any team that forfeits more than three games in football is not eligible for the playoffs.
A group representing Cathedral Catholic appealed the decision to the State CIF and tried to get a restraining order so the Dons could play the quarter game. Both appeals were denied.
The transfer rules in the CIF are much too liberal. They have changed as often as politicians change their stances on key issues. At one time there were almost no rules. A player could play for one school in week one and then transfer to another school and play against his original school by week three. Several similar incidents actually took place. Then a rule was made that a transfer student would have to sit out a year before being eligible. Several lawsuits were filed and the CIF sections throughout the state didn’t have the time, money or inclination to spend all of its money on court and legal fees. Now there is a 30 day rule.
Too many schools cheat and recruit transfer students to win games. Cathedral Catholic was not trying to cheat. Schools and coaches are not the only cheaters—some parents also try to cheat. If parents see that their child can’t play the position that they want him or her to play, they shop around.
One year a parent of a baseball player had his son try out at several schools to see where he could make the team and play. When he found the right school the parent rented an apartment in the school’s boundaries.
One North County school has had an amazing success rate with transfer quarterbacks. One East County school makes a living off of girls basketball transfers as does a baseball program and so on and so forth.
Lawyers and real estate agents were not meant to be more important than coaches in interscholastic athletics.
It is ironic that an honest mistake made by an honest school is the big news on KUSI’s Prep Pigskin Report when all of the dishonest schools and cheaters are being ignored and reaping benefits from their wrongdoing.
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