Corruption in High School Sports Funds?

 

We have completed the preliminary research on CCS 2011-2012 financials and the results are startling and even potentially criminal. We are rechecking and also involving the appropriate authorities and will report back shortly.  From potnetkial embezzelment to outright mismanagment CCS is simply not protecting tax payer money to preserve high school sports as they  are charged to do.

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Principal Charged with Failing to Report Sexual Abuse- Are CCS Officials Headed for Jail Too?

The AP and San Jose, CA newswires are buzzing and the slow wheels of justice are turning. For many years parents, students and athletes have complained about sexual abuse in our schools and sports programs. Administrators, principals and sports officials who are legally obligated to report such abuse have failed to do so. They see and they hear, and they do nothing.

Now a San Jose Judge has said that is not reasonable and can’t be tolerated. Good for Judge Ryan. Time and time again we see officials charged with protecting our students and athletes do nothing. They collect huge salaries and go on their way to merry pensions, while students miss opportunities, have lasting scars and are denied protection they deserve. Every official in CCS should walk the walk. Set a zero tolerance policy and stick to it. Don’t allow coaches and refs to get out of line and for those who can’t manage better- RESIGN and give up the pension! Any CCS/ CIF official or administrator who fails to act for even one child should not only lose their job, they should go to jail and today’s ruling in San Jose has made that far more likely.

Jerry Sandusky may have changed things. Top college administrators and officials, event athletic directors are all starting to be held accountable, and now we see a slow chipping away here in our own San Jose , CA.

We know CCS and CIF officials have had information before them that indicated sexual, physical and verbal abuse is likely present and wide spread in high school sports, but they have done nothing . They have acted only to protect the institutions and rules that are flawed and that do little for students those institutions are charged to serve.

We hope this new case sends a message, we hope officials and administrators take note: YOU WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IF YOU CONTINUE TO DO NOTHING!

Link to case coverage: http://news.yahoo.com/calif-principal-guilty-failing-report-abuse-003549817.html

Pension Reform Needed In CCS and CIF

Next week CCS Watchdog will release financial information and analysis for the 2012- 2013 school year. Based on the findings, it is becoming more clear that countless emails from parents, teachers and coaches wondering how CCS salaries , pensions and administrative costs can so significantly  out strip the pay of the school teachers , coaches and administrators  of  the member schools  CCS is charged to serve. High school sports; as music, theater and art programs are an extension of a high school experience. And for most students’ participation in sports does little for their overall education or life experience value. Those who are deeply impacted are a very small minority of the state’s high school population. The reality is few high school students will be awarded athletic scholarships or ever make big bucks in sports later in life. But many will need a valuable education and social investment in other opportunities that will support their lifetime choices and value. That core fact needs a bit of economic attention and reality.  Member schools must understand the costs, fees and value they get by participating in high school sports through CCS/CIF.  As members of the CCS member school management team sit and listen to economic updates and reports, few individuals who review those reports question how funds are used to actually benefit schools and athletes as they intend. Few question excessive legal or accounting fees that are expended at the direction of the CCS staff. Few question how pensions and excessive salaries will burden the organization and state tax payers long after a CCS staff member retires and payment to a replacement is required. Few question  the imbalance that exists between CCS and CIF salaries and costs  vs. a lack of pay for coaches who. Has CCS Commissioner Nancy Blaser done such an exceptional job that she is entitled to receive a pension over $200,000 per year for the rest of her life when the coaches who likely impacted far more athletes will earn nothing? The system is broken, it is not sustainable. Combined with the pension burden, mismanagement, bad accounting practices and questionable ethical issues waste even more state,  likely have a far more significant impact on the state’s high school student population. Maybe before we fail to give a teacher a raise, before we cut an art department or before we eliminate transportation for our neediest students, we should look at the money we are spending right here in the CCS office. As pension reform and salary discussions spread across the state, CCS and CIF should not be immune.

New Transfer and “ Sit Out” Rules Are Dangerous for Athletes and Member Schools- Are they Constitutional?

The CIF has implemented new transfer and “Sit Out “ rules that serve  to further   limit athletic  opportunities for California high school  students, add to member school and coaching administrative burdens and grant too much subjective authority  to overreach into what should be  private family decisions.

The CIF and its Sections should not have entrance or ability to judge academic issues,  member school enrollment policies or decisions made by families in the best interest of their children. The CIF should address enrollment policies of member schools as a consideration of accepting a school into the CIF, not policing those policies on an individual basis when later considering student transfers. If a student is enrolled in a CIF member school, that student should be afforded the same athletic opportunities of other students enrolled in any CIF member school. Transfer rules limiting those opportunities are clearly inequitable and likely unconstitutional. Furthermore, no CIF official has the ability or expertise to properly address academic , safety or economic decisions made by  individual families in the best interest of their children. The CIF should only make determinations based on a universal and measurable standards , such as school accreditation or  student GPA requirements .

The new “ Sit Out “ rules will add to administrative burdens of schools and coaches and will lack equity for individual students. Athletic opportunities should  not be based on administrative  and adult management issues that are beyond an individual  athlete’s  oversight or  control. A team or individual athlete should not face possible sanctions, lost competitions or eligibility restrictions if a coach or member school does not properly manage the new Sit Out Rule.

The CCS Commissioner, Nancy Blaser has historically demonstrated a willingness to sanction schools and eliminate athletic opportunities based on her subjective review and personal bias. These new rules will give her more authority to continue to do so and leave the possibility that individual student athletes will be denied athletic opportunities based on that authority and the new CIF “ Sit Out “ transfer rule.

It is time to remind CIF and CCS that they are charged to manage sportsmanship, competitions and ensure the coaches and CIF officials manage our student athletes with the highest degree of integrity, accountability and transparency. ,   It is time for CIF and CCS to get out of member school policies and private family business.   It is time for CIF and CCS to get their own house in order .

Does CIF and CCS Ultimately Determine which California Athletes make the Olympics?

As the Summer Olympic Games begin in London,  a great deal of attention has been given to the fact that almost 20% of the USA Olympic team is comprised of California athletes. Cal and Stanford dominate  collegiate claim to many of these athletes and most are California grown, at least during their high school years.

With numbers so significant and remarkable, more attention should be given to the organization that oversees high school sports in California and ultimately determines who may or may not be allowed to compete in the Olympic games to represent the United States of America.

For years CIF  and many of its Sections have had a history plagued with administrative missteps  and  the appearance of improper actions or special interests. Until these organizations start to answer with more than just dotted line responsibility to state legislators and taxpayers ,  until the organization provides greater transparency related to CIF and Section finances and management, no California high school athlete can truly be guaranteed true equity and  a fair opportunity to compete.

Like life, sports are not always fair.   Win some, lose some. Have a great day, have a terrible day. Get an injury or illness during a critical competition.  But administrative gridlock, overreaching and overpaid officials should not add to the inequity of high school sports. It is time to insist on greater transparency and accountability from those charged to oversee our high school sports programs in California.

NCAA Sanctions Against Penn State Disingenuous

The NCAA sanctions against Penn State are unprecedented and perhaps deserved. However, the gesture from the NCAA still fails to address how the NCAA itself played a part in the Penn State Hall of Shame scandal.  The NCAA has  done nothing to change its own internal culture which encourages wins at all cost, looks the other way when administrators or coaches fail to do the right thing, discourages parents and students from speaking up  and explains bad decisions as simply “following the rules”.  If following the rules discourages one person from speaking up, punishes one student athlete improperly, or allows bad behavior, then those rules are flawed.

Does stripping wins from a dead coach or fining a  school $60 million dollars do anything to change sports  culture? Coach Paterno died having felt those victories, having been revered for over  20 years and with his  winning record intact.  Penn State officials who looked the other way or failed to act still enjoy large pensions and salaries and the NCAA sanctions appear to do nothing more than punish current and future Penn State students and athletes for something they had no ability to control. The sanctions imposed by the NCAA do little to change sports culture and fail to  accept responsibility for how the NCAA contributed to that culture.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Penn State  had put “hero worship and winning at all costs” ahead of integrity, honesty and responsibility, yet Mr. Emmert fails to acknowledge that the NCAA  did, and continues to do  the same.

NCAA, CIF and CCS are the gatekeepers of high school through college sports culture. For over 20 years we have seen CCS Commissioner , Ms. Blaser, construct a culture here on the Central Coast that mirrors that of the NCAA . The culture has become one where student athletes are denied opportunities, stripped of victories and forced to pay a price for adult behavior that is beyond any student’s control. CIF has allowed Ms. Blaser supreme authority over thousands  of student athletes, but has failed offer transparency to ensure that Ms. Blaser herself has acted properly. If Ms. Blaser cannot demonstrate she follows the rules herself, then how can she demonstrate she is qualified to shape sports culture for high school athletes?

 

We anxiously await a time when the NCAA officials will stop imposing rules that serve only  to harm the very athletes they are charged to protect. We look forward to a day when student athletes will find integrity and character in those charged to protect them. We look forward to the day when someone at the top will stand up, speak up and make a difference to change sports culture for the better.

Wheels of Justice Turn for Sandusky – Waiting for Trickle Down to High School Sports

Is Jerry Sandusky just the tip of the iceberg?  Tonight we celebrate  the  Sandusky verdict and recognize this verdict may be to college and high school sports  what  the 2002 Boston abuse cases were to the Catholic Church. We hope victims of sexual , physical and psychological abuse feel a small reason to hope this evening and we hope the message that society will  no longer look the other way when children are harmed starts to resonate throughout  sports organizations everywhere. Most of all we hope Mr. Sandusky lives a very long life in prison where his fellow inmates can help reinforce the message that perhaps big scary men showering with smaller men is not as innocent as Mr. Sandusky would have us believe. We applaud every victim who spoke out.  This case has surely opened old wounds and disrupted victims’ lives yet again , but the verdict  clearly rewards their courage  and will benefit children for generations to come.

Shame on Mrs. Sandusky. No love or marital obligation can be that blind. From children screaming in her home and what she must have endured with her adopted son to what she heard during this trial , if she still believes in her husband’s innocence, she is just as guilty as he is and should be charged as an accessory.  Shame on every person who suspected and said nothing, we hope the wheels of justice will spin their way as well.  Somehow knowing those people have to live with the fact they didn’t speak up is simply not enough.

Mr. Sandusky’s behavior is not as rare as we would hope. The verdict tonight gave a whimper to the voices of countless victims who are abused in the name of sports every day. Right here in CCS we have had families report physical, sexual and psychological abuse and we have seen administrators , CCS officials and coaches continue to look the other way. We have seen CIF and CCS make no effort to bring these matters forward. The fact that people in CCS know or suspect child abuse and remain silent is no longer acceptable.  How many children will suffer and how long will it take until sports programs and coaches no longer have the opportunity to abuse children in a manner we don’t tolerate anywhere else in society. Tonight we are closer to closing that loophole and addressing that problem.

We hope it doesn’t  take 10 years to clean up sports programs as it has to start cleaning up the Catholic Church, but we hope the Sandusky case will ripple through sports programs to benefit and protect all children sooner  than later.  We hope those in CCS who have tried to file complaints, but have been blocked by Ms. Blaser and CIF officials will not be deterred. We hope someday Ms. Blaser and other CCS officials will have to face the music as those who protected Jerry Sandusky are about to.