August 29, 2006

Katrina strikes again: Do any SpoFiers live in Louisiana? I'd like to see more local information about this. This is horrible how they're punishing these kids after their world was destroyed.

posted by timdawg to football at 01:39 PM - 16 comments

This is a shame - I know that here in Houston, LA kids played on our local teams. We had a least one on my daughter's high school football team. You would think they could consider special circumstances for these sports last year - shame on them!

posted by yellowjacket at 02:28 PM on August 29, 2006

I'd love to see an article that actually states what's going on. It sounds as though a school was punished for letting New Orleans evacuees play on the team. It also seems to state that another school "told on them." I love that sports, being so emotional, are litigated nearly mercilessly by boards and associations "committed to excellence" or several other cliche slogans. /endsarcasm.

posted by Thisguy at 02:30 PM on August 29, 2006

I'd bet the complaining school is the school that got beat in the Championship Game. It's bad enough they had their lives torn apart but then to be told they can't play football because they came from some other town? Geez. Give the kids a break. It's a game.

posted by dbt302 at 02:30 PM on August 29, 2006

The brevity of the link forced me to do a little research. I am guessing that Bastrop High School did not follow the proper procedures. The title of the article, La. HS stripped of title for recruiting Katrina evacuees, suggests to me that the Associated Press is playing on our emotions.

posted by MrFrisby at 02:37 PM on August 29, 2006

Despite the trying post-storm circumstances, the LHSAA's recruiting rules remained intact. It was still a violation for anyone connected with a member school to contact one of these students in an attempt to persuade the student to attend that school for any reason. The implication of that article, though only stated in the cited sentence, is that the students were somehow illegally recruited. Of course, that could be speculation on the part of the reporter. Also, interesting comments on that page.

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:43 PM on August 29, 2006

Hard to judge the facts when the stories contain so little, but if the premise is true, rules is rules. They should have followed them or pursued some kind of Katrina-related waiver before the season began. Other schools might have followed the rules and not allowed new Katrina transfers to play until it was permitted.

posted by rcade at 02:43 PM on August 29, 2006

What the fuck is wrong with thease people? I'm sure to the kids that came from the other schools this was the only bright spot in an otherwise really shity year. The more I think about this the more pissed I'm getting about it. Let the kids play the games, not the adults. What satisfaction can there be in taking the championship by any other way then winning the championship game. I am going to surmise that because thease kids are still going to Bastrop, it might be possible for the team to repeat. How better to stop this, DQ the players who made the difference. You have to give Bastrop credit, covering up their recruiting violations by stageing a hurricane and wiping out a major U.S. city.

posted by CB900 at 03:28 PM on August 29, 2006

Strike my last sentence from the record. I guess I just wasn't picking up on "recruiting" being the operative word. At least, that's the word consistently showing up in the articles.

posted by MrFrisby at 03:36 PM on August 29, 2006

As other posters have said, it's tough to opine when not all the facts are clear from the coverage. If the school singled out good football players and filled up their classes with those kids at the exclusion of other evacuee students needing their education, then yeah, that's shady. But I'm not sure that's the case. And in either case, I'm not sure someone should've blown the whistle on this. What good can it do, really?

posted by nicotine winning patch at 04:19 PM on August 29, 2006

Here's a sports-and-Katrina-related story that's slightly more heartwarming. I heard it on NPR last year and have listened to it again online a few times - it's about a high school football team that was reconstituted in the aftermath of the hurricane, because the kids were so eager to play ball again. Although the squad is decidedly rag-tag, their first game produces some unexpected results. The story I'm talking about is in "act three".

posted by Venicemenace at 07:23 PM on August 29, 2006

I know in Oklahoma which had quite a few evacuees, and Arkansas which had a pretty good number the athletes were allowed to compete as if they had met the requirements. It is sad that the state that was hit the worst treated the HS athletes so bad yet in other states the athletes were allowed to waive the district residency rules.

posted by scottypup at 09:09 AM on August 30, 2006

Let's not jump to conclucions about how LA is treating her athletes. As has been said, the facts in the available threads are pretty thin. What can be said is that it appears that the state did all it can to provide an easy, pain-free process while trying to protect from predatory, active seeking out of top athletes from disaster areas. I say 'trying' because, if we read the article carefully, it does not say that the athletes in question 'played' for Balsrop, but rather that they were 'recruited by Balsrop.' Recruited, as in Coach: "If you come play for us son, we will make sure your family has a nice house to live in rather than a flea-bag motel or a FEMA campsite." I am not saying that is what happened, but if it is, or any other inducement was offered (which is what recruiting entails) then I say that Balsrop was trying to benefit from the disaster, and THAT IMO is wrong.

posted by elovrich at 09:18 AM on August 30, 2006

"If you come play for us son, we will make sure your family has a nice house to live in rather than a flea-bag motel or a FEMA campsite." I am a world class cynic, and even I have to believe that the educators and administrators of Bastrop High and the school district put the well- being of the students first. To think that the coaches hand picked the students by how good a football player they are is ridiculos. Familys and people were scattered all to hell and gone. Am I to believe they went to the Super Dome to recruit only the best players, I think not. And even if they did, don't take it out on the kids, I think they have suffered enough.

posted by CB900 at 12:27 PM on August 30, 2006

More I was led to understand that one or two of these same five students had sisters displaced at the same location that participated in LHSAA sports other than football yet were left behind by these coaches. -LHSAA commissioner Tommy Henry

posted by SummersEve at 10:28 AM on August 31, 2006

Thanks, SummersEve. That article gives a better idea of what actually happened apart from "the kids are crying." Basically, if the coaches had been smart and brought up all the kids that were being transferred to the school, they might not have gotten in trouble. I also think the definition of "kids" is interested. Juniors and Seniors. 16-18 years old, if I'm not mistaken. Granted, a hurricane isn't an easy thing to deal with, but you'd hope schools had been preparing them to take responsibility for their actions, as the "kids" can get a license to drive and are about to leave for college(or military, or working odd jobs and playing video games). It always seems we expect "kids" to suddenly at 18 (or 21) have a sudden explosion of responsibility appear when they've been sheltered from it their whole life. I'm all in favor of teaching kids to say, "Hold it, coach, that isn't right."

posted by Thisguy at 11:32 AM on August 31, 2006

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