Sports

Quick and fervent reaction to SCVAL BOM saying no to CCS playoffs

What if they gave a CCS playoff and no one came? Photo by Rick Eymer.

This has not been a normal year and the outcry from the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League community has been anything but normal in the aftermath of the SCVAL Board of Managers voting its league out of Central Coast Section playoffs for the season.

The voting took place in a hastily called meeting. It came three days after the CCS Executive Board announced it would sponsor playoffs for team sports.

The SCVAL Board of Managers, made up of the high school principals in the league, have been accused of everything from conspiracy to choosing vacations over students.

The Palo Alto Weekly has received over 40 emails on the subject the past 24 hours and the number continues to swell. People aren’t too happy about the decision.

The SCVAL website prominently displays its Belief Statement for the Student/Athlete as:

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“Athletic participation is in place to enrich the mental, physical and emotional well-being of all student/athletes by providing competitive opportunities through which the lifelong values of sportsmanship, individual effort, teamwork, dedication, integrity, and total commitment are emphasized.”

Of course, COVID related issues have interfered with most decisions since March of 2020. But with COVID awareness, the rate of infection and vaccinations at an all-time high, this issue should not remain a scapegoat.

Below are a sampling of community reactions to the decision:

“If there is a good reason for denying CCS participation, please let me know and I will reconsider (donations),” wrote one parent.

Another wrote “Disappointed barely expresses our downright ANGER and disgust.”

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“As if the challenges of the last year were not bad enough for our young people, your recent decision to rob our student athletes of the opportunity to compete at the highest level has made the situation even worse,” wrote another.

One theory has the superintendents asking the principals to vote against participating in the postseason.

Others are threatening legal action and all are asking the SCVAL BOM to reverse its decision.

The local community has no intention of letting this go any time soon. Stay tuned.

We will see what the SCVAL’s reaction will be to this outpouring from the community: Will the decision be reconsidered? Or, if the league sticks to its decision to not take part in the section playoffs, what its reasoning might entail.

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Quick and fervent reaction to SCVAL BOM saying no to CCS playoffs

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sat, May 1, 2021, 5:30 pm

This has not been a normal year and the outcry from the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League community has been anything but normal in the aftermath of the SCVAL Board of Managers voting its league out of Central Coast Section playoffs for the season.

The voting took place in a hastily called meeting. It came three days after the CCS Executive Board announced it would sponsor playoffs for team sports.

The SCVAL Board of Managers, made up of the high school principals in the league, have been accused of everything from conspiracy to choosing vacations over students.

The Palo Alto Weekly has received over 40 emails on the subject the past 24 hours and the number continues to swell. People aren’t too happy about the decision.

The SCVAL website prominently displays its Belief Statement for the Student/Athlete as:

“Athletic participation is in place to enrich the mental, physical and emotional well-being of all student/athletes by providing competitive opportunities through which the lifelong values of sportsmanship, individual effort, teamwork, dedication, integrity, and total commitment are emphasized.”

Of course, COVID related issues have interfered with most decisions since March of 2020. But with COVID awareness, the rate of infection and vaccinations at an all-time high, this issue should not remain a scapegoat.

Below are a sampling of community reactions to the decision:

“If there is a good reason for denying CCS participation, please let me know and I will reconsider (donations),” wrote one parent.

Another wrote “Disappointed barely expresses our downright ANGER and disgust.”

“As if the challenges of the last year were not bad enough for our young people, your recent decision to rob our student athletes of the opportunity to compete at the highest level has made the situation even worse,” wrote another.

One theory has the superintendents asking the principals to vote against participating in the postseason.

Others are threatening legal action and all are asking the SCVAL BOM to reverse its decision.

The local community has no intention of letting this go any time soon. Stay tuned.

We will see what the SCVAL’s reaction will be to this outpouring from the community: Will the decision be reconsidered? Or, if the league sticks to its decision to not take part in the section playoffs, what its reasoning might entail.

Comments

YP
Registered user
Crescent Park
on May 2, 2021 at 7:07 pm
YP, Crescent Park
Registered user
on May 2, 2021 at 7:07 pm

As a somewhat outsider it seems to me that SCVAL came to this decision for only one reason, they don't want to do the work to make it happen.

If kids are playing right now then Covid can't be the reason.

Pulling out the title IX card as justification makes no sense. What they are saying is hey we screwed up with the 3 season league costing some sports a CCS opportunity so let's penalize all teams.

So it comes down to this , SCVAL decision makers would rather go on vacation than give kids a chance to participate in a CCS playoff.


Rebecca Eisenberg
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on May 2, 2021 at 9:31 pm
Rebecca Eisenberg, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on May 2, 2021 at 9:31 pm

Given that the SCVAL Administrators already work a reduced schedule compared with the private sector (yet often are paid far more than they would be in the private sector) and have the entire month of July off for vacation, the excuse of pre-scheduled vacation is not credible.

It remains unknowable why a group of highly-paid professionals whose job is to further the best interests of student athletes would act in direct contravention to their stated goals. Here in Palo Alto, Superintendent Austin regularly makes decisions that harm students, parents, and teachers, without explanation or knowable basis. But even in that context, this decision to pull our teams from CCS stands out as short-sighted, petty, and possibly malicious.

The Covid pandemic has brought out the best - and worst - in people, revealing many of our highest-ranking, and highest-paid executives and administrators in both the private and public sector to be unqualified for their positions of trust. At least in Palo Alto, that seemed clear more than a year ago, so is possibly the case at the other SCVAL schools. Yet, incompetence is hardly an excuse for a decision that so lacking in judgment and common sense.

Palo Alto's top District administrators rarely display concern for the consequences of their action on the stakeholders whose interests they are sworn to protect. Usually parents are too overwhelmed with bad news to respond. This time the SCVAL highly-paid brass may have gone too far.

There are credible arguments that SCVAL's decision to deprive our high schools' athletes from an opportunity to compete at higher levels constitute violations of the the players' rights under State and Federal Constitutional and Statutory law. In considering similar fact scenarios throughout California over the past six months, California courts have sided with the best interests of the students over the convenience of school officials. Knowing this, hopefully SCVAL will reconsider on their own.


Samuel L
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 2, 2021 at 10:45 pm
Samuel L, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on May 2, 2021 at 10:45 pm

Did the AD's put any pressure on their principals to vote in favor of playoffs? Let's hear what the AD's have to say. Let's hear what the principals have to say. Let's hear what the superintendent(s) have to say.

Don't let the SCVAL principals huddle together and hide behind each other. Let's hear them explain themselves individually.


Rebecca Eisenberg
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on May 3, 2021 at 12:07 pm
Rebecca Eisenberg, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on May 3, 2021 at 12:07 pm

They are not talking.


Samuel L
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 3, 2021 at 2:14 pm
Samuel L, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on May 3, 2021 at 2:14 pm

Not talking because they're embarrassed. Why didn't the AD's or the Superintendent come out and publicly push for SCVAL to allow teams into CCS playoffs? I would be that if it impacted football, Superintendent Austin and Paly AD, Nelson Gifford would be all over it. But, they don't seem to care about the other sports. Geez, have you looked at the Superintendent's Twitter feed? You'd think HE was the football coach! Nelson Gifford treats all sports but football as the red-headed step-child. The Paly athletic department is a mess, in general, thanks to him.

But, really the question is why weren't these guys pushing for CCS playoffs for the spring teams? Why aren't they publicly supporting the effort for their students and athletes?

What do the principals have to say as their reasoning for not supporting playoffs?


Rebecca Eisenberg
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on May 5, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Rebecca Eisenberg, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on May 5, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Occam's Razor indicates that none of the parties you name cares about the student athletes.


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