Here we go again with another year of accusations, be they done with some professional class or others with downright finger-pointing. The subject this time: recruiting in high school sports.
Teachers have to be very careful at accusing others because, well, it doesn't look nice. Oh yes, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation would not be too happy with educators, shall we say, upset with others in their line of work. Every year, there seems to be more and more.
So I am told, students can pick and choose schools for courses, music and drama programs and more — but when it comes to athletics, make that varsity sports, the so-called optics of stacking teams with very talented athletes is a no-no.
There are exceptions for everything. There are also schools with exceptional athlete programs and issues continuing to crop up about certain sports schools having advantages over others.
Things had been quiet, likely because of the summer break, until lately when the chatter has picked up about some very good football players leaving one school and showing up at another. You guessed it, showing up at schools that have solid football programs. Otherwise, the quiet would continue.
The rants are spread out across leagues, but more so accusing the private or independent schools of getting an advantage over their supposed poorer cousins in the public and Catholic boards of education. The transfer rule is again the hot potato and teachers, coaches and parents are not happy. Students are tight lipped and, they tell me, amazed at the way things are being handled. Many continue to blame the Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Association for not taking a tougher stand on this annual problem — and they might have a point.
Yes, there are rules and, like everything, some rules have loopholes. That is leaving some people very creative and others very frustrated. Should students be allowed to transfer from publicly funded schools to private schools and even from private schools to Catholic schools and still be eligible to compete?This is a tough one, especially when private schools are offering packages of financial assistance - and some interesting athletes figure why not take it. But I am also starting to wonder if the time has come for Ontario to test the rule used in the United States: students who transfer schools must sit out one year.
This should cut out some of the luring of elite athletes and the desire by others to switch for what many claim is to have the better coaching, the prestige but to also be on a winner. For those who agree, I am sure there are many who will see this from another perspective and argue students who switch for legitimate reasons shouldn't have to pay the price.