The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has struck again. In its infinite wisdom and knowledge it is punishing the students at Mountain Valley Academy.
MVA is the high school program at Ramona Community School. (I hope the
readers recognize sarcastic and sardonic writing!)
Oklahoma University All America linebacker and two-time Butkus Award recipient Brian Bosworth once described the NCAA as the “National Communist Against Athletes” while he was having his battles with the organization. Many parents in Ramona would not disagree with Bosworth’s assessment.
The NCAA has determined that because not all of the students at MVA have to attend all classes and can obtain credit on the Internet or do coursework on their own to get credits, it necessary to punish those who do attend classes. I guess that is guilt by association. Does the NCAA have a clue? Every high school has similar programs—the traditional and nontraditional high schools, including Ramona High School.
When Chuck Lopez was first informed, the counselor at MVA filed an appeal.
“I thought that there must be some mistake. So I sent in the appeal and explained that our student/athletes do attend class and get what the NCAA calls seat time. When they turned down my appeal, which contained explanations from Dr. Robert Graeff, our superintendent, I was shocked.”
Graeff would not take no for an answer and wrote a very erudite letter and said that the MVA student/athletes who met the NCAA criteria would be able to experience college sports. He submitted a proposal that would mandate that student/athletes who are taking NCAA core courses would have the appropriate seat time.
The NCAA again denied the MVA students.
“If everybody doesn’t have to have seat time, then nobody can get credit for the core courses,” is about what the NCAA said.
After a year of doing what MVA has done all along, the NCAA said the school can appeal again but it would not grandfather any of the athletes currently enrolled.
That is odd. The NCAA has never had a problem grandfathering punishments. They just got done punishing USC’s student/athletes for violations committed before the current players enrolled at USC. The NCAA had no problem punishing current Penn State student/athletes for crimes committed in 1998 and 2002—crimes that they had absolutely no knowledge of.
The NCAA allows nonstudent/athletes to play basketball for one year as a tune-up for the NBA. It allows nonstudent/athletes to get into college and take courses that would embarrass prison inmates so that they can remain eligible. Yet they won’t grandfather the serious and honest student/athletes at MVA.
Graeff, Lopez and Ramona Community School Principal Carol Tennebaum did all that was possible to make the NCAA understand that MVA is in compliance. You can lead a jackass to water but if you leave it alone it will probably drown.
One mother at MVA suggested a class action lawsuit. The NCAA has enough money to spank USC, Ohio State, Penn State, and the institutions of higher education in the SEC so a Ramona class action suit would be futile. If a suit was filed, the judge would realize that of the two involved in the class action lawsuit, the MVA has more class that the NCAA.
One concerned parent wondered if Ramona could stop MVA student/athletes from participating in interscholastic athletics at RHS. All I can say is at one time Montecito High School students were allowed to play at RHS. The CIF ruled that they can no longer do so.
Students who attend nontraditional and alternate high schools do so for a reason. One camp thinks that if you don’t attend RHS, you shouldn’t be allowed to represent RHS in athletics. The other camp thinks that all students in the RUSD who qualify under CIF guidelines should be able to experience interscholastic sports. The NCAA must be in the first camp.
Currently the CIF and the RUSD allow MVA students to represent RHS in sports. It is not right, fair, or in my opinion, ethical for the NCAA to punish qualified student/athletes from initial eligibility because some other students at MVA take internet classes and do packets for credit and do not have enough “seat time” in the opinion of the NCAA.
The RUSD is in the education business. MVA is in the education/student business. The NCAA is in the sports business or is that $ports Bu$ineSS? MVA doesn’t have any power forwards or future NFL draft choices, so the NCAA apparently doesn’t care about its student/athletes.
Shame on the NCAA because the NCAA is a shame and a sham.