February 10, 2012 Leave a comment
CCS Watchdog has learned that CIF and CCS have refused to release any information related to conflicts of interest for the Central Coast Section. State law requires CIF and CCS to redact privacy information, but to release the remainder of the information contained in a conflict of interest to the public upon request. How many conflicts exist, are public monies being abused because of these conflicts, that information is required to be released. For over 5 months CIF and CCS have refused to provide any information related to potential conflicts of interest in the Section and how those conflicts have been properly managed by CIF. Instead CIF and CCS have incurred tremendous legal bills , which have been charged to schools, to keep this information from coming forward. Schools, families, athletes and coaches have a right to know this information . Failing to release it is not only breaking the law, it is keeping important information from the CCS Community and escalating athletic fees and burdens unnecessarily.
The CIF policy very specifically calls for all CCS officials to annually disclose conflicts of interest they may have that could give them personal gain by nature of their position. Legally one would be considered to improperly gain from things like: You or a close relative owns a building , equipment or services that you pay for with Section funds. You give a buddy an Independent Contractor job to do a website even though that person was already receiving a pension from the Section and may not be the most qualified to do a site. Your kid or a relative gets an award, scholarship or other benefit over a more deserving athlete because you are a big mucky muck within the Section. You are married to a school principal and don’t act on that school if required. You fail to punish a school because you ride horses with buddies from that school and don’t want them on probation. Your kid gets more play time and visibility and gets into college over a more deserving athlete but the nature of your position and your longevity in that position prevents anyone from complaining. It could mean turning the other way because a coach you have known for 20 years couldn’t possibly be guilty of a complaint that crosses your desk. Finances are supposed to be managed at arm’s length so they prevent conflict of interests. Audits should address potential conflicts of interest that could lead to misconduct like embezzlement or improper personal gain and it is not always as simple as making sure people don’t sign their own checks. When people are allowed to manage for too long, when they don’t follow the rules and when they intimidate people from speaking out, there is usually a much greater problem.
If the finances of CIF and CCS are managed properly, conflicts of interest should be openly disclosed and fairly managed. Appointments should be made with greater input from the CCS Community and the ” we have to just deal with it because nobody else will do that job” can’t be allowed to be the rationale for letting a select few run things without transparency and proper oversight for long periods of time. There certainly are hundreds of well qualified individuals able and willing to manage the Section that in return pays a high salary, benefits, retirement and expenses. And certainly for a million dollars a year we can get paperwork, including conflicts of interest filed properly.
Yes, there are rules and associations that may give an appearance that refs are neutral. Yes, there are requirements that CCs officials can’t sign their own paychecks or expenses. But the way to steal money isn’t usually so obvious. The way to get personal gain may not even be noticed and that is why conflicts of interest filings are so important. If these have not been filed and managed properly, then it puts every CCS decision in question.
We call on CIF and CCS to stop breaking state law and to disclose all conflicts of interest in the Section. Whom is married to whom, who may benefit from a CCS position, personally and economically. It shouldn’t be a secret.