Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Huge Fine for Private High School Recruiting

The controversial issue of private high school recruiting for athletics has reached a high point this year in Colorado after the big school 5A football championship game was played between two private schools - Mullen and Regis Jesuit. For the last decade, Mullen - a small Catholic school - has dominated the big school football scene. And, obviously, it has been a target of recruiting violations, as it really seems to pull a lot of kids from city schools and provide "scholarships" to what is arguably an expensive private education. Regis, likewise, has long ruled some sports such as swimming and basketball, and recently rose to the top of football as well. In response, Regis was recently cited by CHSAA regulators for illegally recruiting for its football program.

Public schools are understandably troubled by this skewed emphasis on sports and questionable tactics by private schools to recruit for sports with little regard to their educational role. The most recent case is a huge fine against a Florida private school for recruiting violations. Mandarin Christian high school was fined $142,000 for 25 violations of illegal contact with student athletes. While the excessive nature of the fine is of concern, I applaud the Florida system for taking such a serious interest in a serious issue. The problem with this issue is it is so hard to prove, and thus, when they can, I believe regulators really have to make it hurt. Colorado did not do so with Regis, thus basically condoning the behavior. Florida may have gone a bit over, but hopefully schools will rethink what has become a really ridiculous game.


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Read the article. Seems that Mandarin Christian allowed players on the field before they were full-time students at the school. THAT is a huge problem.

But I don't see why it's a problem for high schools to recruit students and/or offer tuition breaks. What's wrong with that? Don't they do that in colleges as well?

These rules are odd. You know, here children can go to public school/homeschool part days with district permission, but they can't play on the sports teams. This is so that the public schools can't recruit homeschoolers to play for them, ALLEGEDLY. Um, there really aren't that many Tim Tebows out there that it's a big problem, I don't think. I don't get why everyone is so picky about who gets to play on which team. It's a *game.*

Could you please explain a bit more about why this is morally wrong in your eyes?

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Reading my comment again, it looks like I am telling you to go read the article in that first sentence. For clarification, the "I" subject is left out. I read the article and don't understand why it's a problem. :)

mmazenko said...

I have no problem with private school seeking out students - it's the specific sports recruiting that is the problem, and which is illegal.

Any school can reach out to students and offer financial assistance if necessary. It's when it is specifically geared toward sports that the moral and legal issue arises. Clearly, it creates suspicion about the "education mission" of the school. And for private schools the "educational mission" comes with tax exempt status.

Thus, there are legal, moral, and philosophical issues. And, on the most basic level, it's an unfair playing field. Public schools are prevented from recruiting. If the states simply want to make it fair game for all schools to recruit, that's a different issue.

Though I would still have a problem with high schools reaching out to 10-12 year old kids and offering "sports scholarships" to high school. Something quite unseemly about that.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a load of crap that Mullen and Regis get to recruit players for there football program. That is an unfair advantage against other public schools that cannot recruit. Mullen has won the last 3 state championships in CO. Private schools should be banned from recruiting and play fair or be in there own private school league.

mmazenko said...

Private schools in CO aren't legally allowed to recruit for sports only, though they can obviously recruit students and promote their school. However, they clearly do recruit for sports, which is why Regis was recently cited for specific football recruiting, bringing kids in to meet the football coach and sending specific texts and emails about sports. The problem is CHSAA is too timid to actually make them suffer for it.

Anonymous said...

It is BS that schools like Mullen and Regis recruit. When I was in middle school, I knew both the HC's for Mullen and Regis. My AYL coach took me to Mullen games and pushed me to go there. They offered me a "scholarship" at Mullen and I decided to go to a public school and never regretted it. Believe me, any kids who might read this article. It is much better to go to a public school where if you can succeed as an athlete it will actually be appreciated. Schools like Mullen and Regis needs to be in their own league so they can win a private school title. Dave Logan wouldn't win sht if he didn't already have a huge advantage over everyone they play. I saw a game recently and the Mullen OL had to average about 270. How in the hell is any other school going to compete with that?

I remember when we kicked the sht out of Regis in basketball and football. Nothing felt better than rubbing it in those pussies faces.