IHSA Is Remiss By Ignoring The Homewood-Flossmoor Transfer Issue *Update HF DQ'd!*

IHSA Is Remiss By Ignoring The Homewood-Flossmoor Transfer Issue *Update HF DQ'd!*

Update: On February 19th, it was reported that the IHSA has disqualified H-F from the State Playoffs and that they must forfeit their victories for 2013-14. Full Story Here.

disqualified the team from the state playoffs over bylaw violations - See more at: http://www.highschoolcubenews.com/news_article/show/351725?referrer_id=599124#sthash.vjPCYn5p.dpuf
disqualified the team from the state playoffs over bylaw violations - See more at: http://www.highschoolcubenews.com/news_article/show/351725?referrer_id=599124#sthash.vjPCYn5p.dpuf

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has often followed the beat of it own drummer. Unfortunately that hasn't always resulted in being right nor being consistent in the application of its own rules. As in the latest brouhaha involving the questionable eligibility of an entire Girls Basketball Starting Lineup at Homewood-Flossmoor shows us. As such the IHSA is remiss by ignoring the Homewood-Flossmoor transfer issue and the triggering of a lawsuit.

Why? Because it isn't as if we are talking about just one or maybe two star players following a coach to a new position we are talking about here - but four from his former program as well as another 3 players from others he had had prior contact with. Making matters worse Varsity Head Coach Anthony Smith has basically thrown last season's Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings players under the bus by promising these transfers the starting roles over them.

Hey maybe I get it - at least on the surface. Look it is no secret that what should be the last bastion of amateur athletics is anything but when it comes to High School Sports. Let's face it the Nightmare commonly known as the NCAA isn't about enticing student-athletes to compete for just for the sheer thrill and glory of representing an institution any longer, it is all about the quickest road to the money and/or fame for both parties. Collegiate Sports is nothing but a business - and it is a big business at that.

What it is not, though,

is a means to achieve a quality four year college education!

And High School Coaches are helping perpetuate that attitude when they allegedly engage in coercing former student-athletes into following them to new coaching environments. But I am telling you right here and now - it is a slippery, slippery slope! Especially to players who have been a part of the program from day one and then get pushed aside by newbies.

All that reflects is a winning at all costs mentality and I don't think that that is something high school coaches should be teaching their young and impressionable charges. I mean, couldn't they just let these kids be kids and let them learn all about the money-grubbing side of it when they get into college?

You know, I have watched (and played) high school sports - and I have to tell you that a lot has changed over the decades. Most notably is this strange movement of players who somehow woke up one morning and have decided they would rather go live with a relative, in another district no less,  just so they can play wherever for whoever. Back in my day, though, that didn't happen as much. Varsity Coaches were generally only interested in letting the kids experience the high school game for what it was worth. And hey, if they had an exceptional team one year - well that was great. If not - well, no big deal we'll just try again next year.

But letting kids be kids doesn't seem to be in anyone's interest anymore because winning high school programs get all the sweet sponsorship goodies while losers struggle to find an extra game jersey, football pads and even players. So to the winners go the spoils. But don't you dare tell me that some sort of Red Flag shouldn't have gone way up with the moving of an entire starting lineup to Homewood-Flossmoor! It looks bad, especially since it looks as if the school district and the IHSA both don't seem to think it a problem. And there can be no winners in a situation like that as everything becomes tainted.

Sure Varsity Head Coach Anthony Smith has proven himself a winner and that he can bring teams to the State Finals (which of course is every players dream). But I also have to wonder what the Homewood-Flossmoor community as a whole thinks about his arrival right about now? After all it isn't their girls that he is teaching to achieve that State Finals Dream. At least not directly after he basically gave away all the starting positions to 6 Brand New Transfer Players he is more comfortable with. Now, I don't know about you, but I would be mad as hell and don't blame anyone for filing a lawsuit. Matter of fact, I commend them because this sort of behavior in High School Sports has to stop.

As for the Illinois High School Association not blinking an eye?

Well let's just say one has to question their leadership.

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  • Surprise, I found this after looking at the right pane on a post on cat yoga. There is too much coincidence that that many people just happen to be moving from Bolingbrook to Homewood.

    While IHSA should look into this and probably won't, I can't figure out how those who are suing have a cause of action.

  • In reply to jack:

    Glad you found it Jack. I think the rationale of Jane Doe for filing the suit is to maybe trigger an injunction that (1) temporarily benches the players and (2) suspends the coach to force the IHSA into looking at the "queer coincidence of migration from the Bolingbrook area to Homewood for 4 of the players (3 from Bolingbrook and 1 Plainfield East - both teams which have been decimated this season) and the 2 from Marist. All six were involved with this coach during the summer from what I read and all trained together so don't think there are any coincidences here.

    Look I get it - it happens all the time lately but generally these transfers involve one or two players at most - but what amounts to an entire starting lineup? Now that is way greedy by any standard. Even for our district.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    I don't see (and haven't seen anything in the press) about how a parent has a personal stake in it to support legal standing. Sort of similar to what Marv Levy once called officious intermeddling. It isn't like the federal disability laws, which give a child a personal right to an education.

    In effect, it isn't much different than former Chicago Now blogger and current sports lawyer Exavier Pope pointing out elsewhere that it doesn't make much difference what the facts of the A Rod case are, as it is extremely difficult to get an arbitration decision overturned, [I'll add:] especially after the judge made his lawyer attach that decision to the complaint. A Rod's lawyer at least used the right terminology ("biased arbitrator," "union's duty of fair representation") but I doubt in that situation that it is more than words.

    As they always say, you can sue, but that doesn't mean it is going anywhere.

  • In reply to jack:

    I would think whoever the person named Jane Doe is - would have at least their parent in their corner encouraging them. Now some of the local papers and websites like the Patch have had adult reaction to the mess over at H-F. Of course the way I see it - no matter how it turns out the Girls Basketball Program (as well as every other sport) will now be under scrutiny and if that is the only victor achieved - well so be it.

    Like A-Rod - it is a matter (or perception) of cheating and that still bothers more people than not. Although one wonders how long that will last given society's rapid descent into the abyss.

    So in the meantime - if the only place it goes is the public knowledge that H-F basically stole a season and that the IHSA failed carrying out their own rules and regulations - that's more than okay by me because at least it exposes the hypocrisy.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Bolingbrook is ranked no. 12 & is 13-4, I'd say that's a long way from being "decimated".
    Do I think something is amiss here? "Absolutely".
    Other than knowing Coach Smith requires all his players maintain at least a B average, which is commendable. Obviously, he is a good coach.
    But yea! Something seems to really smell with all these transfers.

  • In reply to Helpitch:

    Well Helpitch I will go along with you that Bolingbrook has continued their winning ways. But they have also been knee deep in talent for quite awhile. Plus this is a program that already has that special winning mentality that the good programs develop over time.

    But if you look at Chicago Marist (who lost two players) - they are struggling at (8-11 the last I looked). As is Plainfield East which lost Faith Suggs. So this is what I meant about these transfers "decimating" teams. Especially Plainfield East which is still a relatively young and new program. Now they will develop into the kind of team that has a tradition and a winning attitude eventually (given what I have seen of them) - but right they are still the type of team that is generally reliant on the one really good star player to elevate the play of others. And that is really not all that unusual for high school sports, at least not in our conference.

    Look I don't doubt that Coach Smith is a good coach as he has a winning track record. I also understand that players would want to follow him or come from elsewhere to play for him. So I get it. But come on - all of a sudden Homewood-Floosmoor is an instant contender in a highly competitive conference because of this ready made starting lineup with players he has had a direct influence on?

    So hell yeah this sounds like there is something amiss.

    And here's the other thing - what about all those girls who have played in HF's program who are now playing the bench because of these transfers? So yes they (and their parent) have a legitimate gripe about this because it isn't fair for one. But what bugs me most is that Marty Hickman and the IHSA's silence on this matter is deafening.

    By the way - thanks for the comment I appreciate it.

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