Suppose this happens:
A school district, inspired by a board of education and its superintendent, decides to take the bull by the horns and cancel, say, football from its high school athletic program.
They might say, too expensive (proponents would say it’s too expensive to cancel it).
Or, can’t get enough preparation time, so necessary to fielding a sound squad.
Or, COVID-19 exposure is way too extreme.
For whatever reason.
Among other responses, it would dramatically change the force of athletic stature for the foreseeable future.
It would open the floodgates to a rash of transfers. Immediately.
(You wonder if coaches would quickly follow them.)
There’s no way officials at the CIF-Southern Section office could refuse transfers to student-athletes whose sport has been canceled.
It happened in Fontana’s district a few years back. Wrestling. Tennis. Maybe a few other sports. Budget cuts. Athletes from those sports were allowed to immediately transfer.
It’d be automatic. CIF couldn’t restrict them. Canceling a sport is poison for any district.
Let’s say Redlands, of all places, decides to cancel its football program.
For openers, there goes the Citrus Belt League. Remaining schools Yucaipa, Beaumont and Cajon would need to join another league.
That floodgate of transfers would supplement any number of nearby campuses desiring a better football program.
You could see plenty of football players from Cajon showing up at, say, Rialto Eisenhower or Carter, Colton or Grand Terrace. We’re guessing the Eagles and Lions, Yellowjackets and Titans would welcome those transfers with open arms.
Private school campuses like Arrowhead Christian Academy and Aquinas might quickly have fortified rosters — and, perhaps, sudden additions to its coaching staffs.
It’s mind boggling.
Truthfully, there was a real misunderstanding brewing when San Bernardino Unified’s acting superintendent Harold Vollkommer placed a chart — sans football — during a July 1 school board meeting.
It was quickly misconstrued by at least one board member and a viewing (via Zoom) media person. It appeared that Vollkommer was cutting football from San Bernardino United’s system.
No, he was showing an example over various ways a school district could deal with athletics underneath all this pandemic torture. Football wasn’t being cut.
There was absolutely no announcement being made that SBUSD was cutting football. It made for a few quick deep breaths, though. In truth, that district has pumped some money into athletics in recent years.
It’s another reason — a big reason — why Redlands’ Mauricio Arellano, Yucaipa-Calimesa’s Cali Binks (used to be ex-football coach Jim Taylor), Colton’s Frank Miranda, Vollkommer (long-ago point guard at the Univ. Redlands) and Beaumont’s Terrance Davis — all superintendents in neighboring districts has everyone’s full attention these days.
Each is watching the other to see where they’re headed with athletics.
* * *
One interesting Tweet posting:
When superintendents set the bar and make decisions on existing athletic programs, “half the people will be happy.
“Half the people will be upset.”
Just like referees.
* * *
Upon the conclusion of prep spring sports play, let’s not forget to include some curious facts:
• Redlands High’s baseball team was ranked 10th (Div. 3). It was Estevan Valencia’s swan song to coaching the Terriers. He resigned that job after 15 seasons to take on the role of athletic director. Can’t do both.
• Citrus Valley’s baseballers were No. 6 in Div. 5. Second-year Jon Austin must’ve turned that Fall Ball schedule into a real turnaround for Blackhawks’ baseball. Winners in just 10 out of 25 games last spring, that 9-2 start this season was noteworthy.
• Only Sherman Oaks’ Notre Dame was ranked ahead of No. 2 Citrus Valley in Div. 4 girls’ softball polls. Where do we start with this bunch? Mika Lee, at 22-for-22 in stolen base attempts, was standing at one-third of that team’s 66-for-66 overall. Hope Notre Dame had a rifle-shot armed catcher for the CIF finals. Throw in a trio of pitchers — freshmen Taylor Petty and Malie Noda, plus junior Ella Nadeau — who had a combined ERA at 0.72.
• At Division 6, Arrowhead Christian Academy’s softballers nudged in ninth. Coach Mike McMahon, a track speedster in his days at Redlands High, has been doing this for a few years. Winners in six of seven games, his entire lineup had a combined .544 average.
• Speaking of Citrus Valley, its boys’ tennis squad logged in at No. 7 in Div. 4. Nothing — team or individual — showed up in track & field. There are no CIF polls in swimming or golf.
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