There have been some hot stove topics recently in the local media dealing with student-athletes. Here are some of my thoughts:
There is a debated discussion right now dealing with high school athletics in North Carolina and whether parochial and charter schools should compete in the same postseason as public schools. Some schools are currently members of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and belong to NCHSAA conferences, thus competing in the same postseason for team and individual state championships. Recently, a proposal was put forth into motion to allow these schools to continue competing in their conferences, but have separate state playoffs (only parochial and charter schools).
The basis for this proposal was due to the fact that parochial and charter schools do not have any attendance boundaries, where public schools have strict attendance boundaries. I can speak from experience: the required paperwork for each student-athlete to verify they indeed live in the correct zone is endless in my previous district.
Is it fair to have these schools compete against each other in state competition? In my high school athletic career, I played at a public school and we would qualify for the Men's Tennis State Tournament and have to compete against Detroit Country Day School and University Ligget, both private schools. One year, in which we finished 4th overall (the previously mentioned two schools finished #1-2), we joked about being state runners-up in the "public school tournament". We were all competing, but definitely were not on a level playing field. Then again, that was public vs private, which we already have the private-school competition.
I also wonder why Magnet schools have not been included in this proposal. If the primary reasoning is attendance, shouldn't Magnet schools be included? Magnet schools pull students from anywhere within their district, regardless of their "home school". In some districts which allow in-district transfer, a student has to sit out for 365 days before competing in athletics. Student-athletes are allowed to play immediately in Magnet schools.
If Magnet Schools are included, then what about schools with International Baccalaureate (IB) programs? These students don't necessarily attend the school closest to their home address. I would hate to think students would chose not to participate in an IB program because of athletics, but it very well could happen.
If this proposal is adopted, it could drastically change high school athletics in North Carolina. I will be very interested to see the result of the proposal and the ongoing discussion that will certainly take place.
Thanks for reading and follow me via Twitter @CSmithGoBlue
The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.