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 Eligibility Issues 
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In Charlotte recently the newspaper started some investigative reporting about the local high school sports teams. They came across addresses of students and tried to find out if they actually lived in the home that they had listed at the beginning of the school year. Some of the students were found in the investigation to not have been residents of the reported addresses. Living outside of the schools district and not having been awarded that school through the choice plan, they falsified an address to be eligible to attend that school. This issue is important because these students are doing so only to play sports. Most of the schools think that their students will be truthful and don't look in to where they live, but in at least one case it looks like a school even provided a false address to a student, so he could play football there. Have we gotten to the point that academics mean less than sports in the lives of students? What does it say about a school to supposedly have recruited a player or two? Is the importance of winning really that high that a school will do this to gain attention and possibly more money? Just for the record, I went to Independence who has won the last 7 straight 4AA State Championships and I know that from the time I started as a freshman when the school was well-known for its academics and was generally amazing, to the time I graduated and we weren't meeting standards, yet everyone knew of our football team, I would have to say that the quality of education was diluted for a gain in attention on the playing field and some students only seemed to come to play.

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Chris Walz


Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:17 pm
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If that is the student athlete I am thinking of there were extenuating circumstances. His parents had moved to the coast during the football season and he wanted to play the rest of the year with his team. He moved in with his Grandmother and used her address. CMS had ok'd that decision but once the team made the playoffs someone complained to the NCHSAA, which investigated it and found that it was illegal.
So it wasn't like they were "recruiting" players or anything like that. He just wanted to finish the season and then transfer to the coast with his parents over Christmas break.

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Matthew Ruff


Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:27 pm
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Regardless of the circumstances pertaining to that one particular student athlete, I think Chris makes a good point. In some schools, the success of athletic teams seems to become more important than the success of students academically. This is a real problem, but it's a problem to which I do not see a good solution. I guess we can only hope that when we become teachers that we will be in a school that has its priorities straight. If we do happen to teach in a school that is obsessed with a certain athletic team, then maybe we can do something to readjust the school's focus.

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Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:47 pm
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Yes, that was one situation, but I believe that there are 3 other cases that were never ok'd by the school system and it seems suspicious. Having come from one school in question I remember past issues where students began the school year using a false address or one of a relative temporarily before the family actually did move in to the school's zone. I have an issue with the appearance that these students are moving for sports and administrators are approving of their actions by allowing them to play before they really live in the area.

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Chris Walz


Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:06 pm
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One thing to think about is that students don't just use false addresses to be eligible for sports teams. I knew people both in middle and high school who use false addresses to get away from the bullies at their old school, or simply to be with new friends. I'm not saying this is why the athletes moved, but there may have been other circumstances simply besides sports that contributed to falsifying addresses, and I think as teachers, we should make sure to look beyond the initial reasoning for the false addresses.

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Whitney Sims


Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:28 am
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