10-8-16 Editors Note: Our Poll ran for 3 days and the results after hundreds if votes was 52% in Favor of a new League and Playoffs for Private Schools and Elite Public teams, 33% said to leave things as they are, and 15% were felt we needed more debate. This was an issue that people cared very very deeply about!
Full story below:
No matter where you are from or what league you play in you are one side or the other of the aisle on this hot issue. Private School's and Elite Public Schools have the better facilities and are attracting the top athletes and coaches in droves. They are winning. Not just winning but dominating in not only football but in nearly all sports. And it appears that the boiling point has hit and this thing is going to erupt.
The Flash Point of this debate started this year in Portland with Oregonian writer Andrew Nemec writing an article stating that the power house schools needed a new league in Oregon; perhaps a 7A and to compete for their own Championship.
The last 4 weeks it has ROARED up in Washington over the fact that teams are voting to not play and to forfeit against Arch Bishop Murphy who has crushed opponents this year 170-0. A small 2 A in Washington (same as 4A in Oregon) ABM has perhaps the best team at any level in the Pacific NW. Could they beat Jesuit of Portland or Eastside Catholic of Washington? Maybe. Non the less for safety and more or less protest reasons a statement is being made.
The gauntlet is being thrown down. And many of the Public Schools have had enough.
Now the debate and claims are that these elite schools attract the best talent for miles and miles and the result is a super concentrated amount of talent. These programs have the best training facilities, the most booster money, and they recruit kids.
- On one side of the aisle we see these power schools being consistent. They hold that it is all about the academics and that they don't recruit and don't have distinct advantages
- On the other side is the camp that says these schools poached the best public school kids and offer incentives and promises of recruiting pluses and better chances to get to a big college on scholarship as a lure.
- Still others see some of both sides. After all you can not fault kids and parents not wanting to attend schools which in most cases are failing kids academically.
TAKE A POSITION - WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?
In my view this is a destructive poisonous issue. It is killing the sport. It is making Friday Nights a lesser experience and its seems to be an annual default that the Catholic Schools and a few select privileged public schools win it all every year. Factually there is little hope in many leagues of an average public school team making it to the playoffs or mounting a deep run. That is a fact. This current situation is probably creating diminished rosters as schools and teams are humiliated on an annual basis. There are legitimate safety concerns in a sport that is already in BIG TROUBLE on the Traumatic Brain Injury front. While perennial powers like Jesuit and Central Catholic and Eastside Catholic, Arch Bishop Murphy and Gonzaga Prep, Bellevue, West Linn, and the like celebrate League and State Titles year after year, other schools are falling by the wayside.
What will happen when there is no one left to play?
Super Elite Teams like IMG Academy with live in dorms are on the rise and these schools play an independent schedule. That is probably the direction this must go. There needs to be a new division for these elites and those big schools that want to compete at the top and they need to have their own Championship so that the Majority of High Schools can get things back to normal.
Yes Private schools recruit kids. That is an undisputed fact in our world as analysts and writers. We hear about it and see it happen. Anyone that wants to hide behind that fact is just kidding themselves. It happens through Boosters, it happens through training facilities and camps where parents and athletes meet up, and especially during 7 on 7 interactions. Heck the boys themselves are behind a lot of it. Youth football is probably the worst offender as many youth kids and parents are approached by both public and private power football schools as the kids move up from 7th and 8th grade into High School. It happened in our household we just did not bite. But boy it was tempting.
We need solutions and the OSAA and WIAA have failed to lead on this issue. A new League? A new Championship level? No sports for 12 to 24 months for transfer students? It is time for action and it should have been handled in the pre-season. Not at all fair to the ABM kids who are AWESOME and sure not fair to the programs who forfeited - and frankly I do not blame them. It has clearly become a protest movement at this point. And I think this is an important issue and we need to resolve this to save our game from melting into a club sport that no one cares about anymore. That frankly could happen.
It is not fair to the kids on either side of this debate. They should all be playing safe and fun football. It is a game and 95.7% of them will never ever play college football. That is a fact.