The section playoffs for basketball are wrapping up this week. Division I girls & boys finals are scheduled for Saturday at 6:00 and 8:00. San Diego High's boys had a problem with three of their players declared ineligible and losing their appeals. They used them anyways in two preseason scrimmages (AFTER they were declared ineligible) so SD had to forfeit their last two regular season games. They made the playoffs anyways, and got bounced by Torrey Pines last Friday. Okay, that's done. (Also, their suspended coaches were fired.)
On the girls side, Eastlake beat Patrick Henry on Friday. Saturday, the investigation is completed into one of their players, the decision is handed down she's been ineligible all year. Apparently, her parents used a false address to qualify her to attend Eastlake. So they're out of the playoffs, their Tuesday semifinal game is forfeited to La Costa Canyon, who should advance to Saturday's title game.
Eastlake was the #2 seed, so #3 LCC had buses lined up to leave for Chula Vista (drive time: 1:15-1:30) at 3:30. They didn't get final word they weren't playing 'till 4:00. Eastlake appeals, is rejected, they head to court. That hearing was this morning. EPIC FAIL. The judge recuses herself. Turns out her bailiff's daughter played JV ball for Eastlake this year. New hearing, new judge, Friday morning.
La Costa doesn't know what the fuck is happening. Are they playing Patrick Henry (Eastlake's last defeated opponent) in a new semifinal? Are they playing Eastlake? Are they playing at all before Saturday? Would they play tonight? Okay, will they play tomorrow? Guess who's in WTF mode too? Our girls. They're already in the finals, but who do they prepare for?
[Edit 1:30 2/6:] Eastlake's try for a temporary restraining order failed. La Costa advances to the finals with a bye.
As usual, at least one of Eastlake's parents is crying, "The section's out to geeeeeeet uuuuussss!"
Fuck you. The section's not out to get anybody.
I'm tired of this shit. Dot your fucking Is, cross your fucking Ts, do it as early as fucking possible. Don't play games with your kid's athletic career. Don't fucking lie. When you get caught at it, don't fucking trash good people.
Over one girl's parents shitty behavior, at least four teams are suffering. (Make no mistake, the rest of Eastlake's girls don't deserve this.) It's the end of the marking period for a lot of us. It's the start of the spring season (can Patrick Henry's girls go run track or play lacrosse? Or do they need to keep practicing basketball?) Nobody has bandwidth for this shit.
Fortunately, I've got a solution. I tossed it in a comment at the end of the NCT story:
Any ineligibility decisions made after the playoff seeding meeting give the affected team a choice: One, walk away this year and resolve the question going forward, any consequences apply to the current season.
Or go double or nothing: play on, continue with appeals and investigations. If the ineligibilty ruling is ultimately upheld, the entire season is forfeited and any titles won are vacated. The athletes in question, their ineligibility becomes permanent, statewide. If there is clear evidence that any parent, coach or other team associate was complicit, they're suspended from all sports until the conclusion of the next academic year.
If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to lose. If you're jacking everybody around, you get it with both barrels. You pays your money, you takes your chances.