Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Franklin's follies

Sometimes, it's best to take one's punishment with dignity, especially if there's a pretty clear understanding of guilt. My parents called it "building character."

Seems the Stockton Unified School District doesn't believe in character building.

Franklin High was found to be in violation of more than 50 recruiting rules for enticing players from American Samoa to play for the Yellowjackets football team. So, the state athletic governing committee pulled away three years' worth of wins and said the ineligible players must not play. The Stockton Unified School District instructed the players, under coach Tom Verner, to take the field anyway, and the trio of ineligible Frankling players helped the Jackets crush Tracy High last Friday.

Coach Verner might have his name on the school's football stadium, but that doesn't make him and his team above the rules. So, the school's football program is essentially being disbanded until 2010.

Of course, the district superintendent, Jack McLaughlin, is playing the "we deserve to be treated better" card.

Perhaps the students deserve to be treated better. After all, their coach and district superintendent screwed their chances at playing football for Franklin and, possibly, their chances at playing football beyond high school. But there's no chance in hell the so-called grown-ups — the ones supposedly instilling life lessons in their young charges — are getting any sympathy.

The whole affair is the fault of administrators who broke the rules and then refused to take their just desserts. What a great example they're setting for their students: Cheat. Get caught. Refuse punishment. Continue cheating. Get more severely punished. Whine about it.

Helluva lesson, guys.

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