Sports participation has always been competitive and even moreso for today’s youth. The rule that a school could not “recruit” players to join their sports team has been on the books for the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) for quite sometime. We were “ear hustlin” and came across serious buzz is surrounding Homewood-Flossmoor and the Varsity Girls Basketball Head Coach.
Coach Anthony Smith of the #1 state ranked Girls Basketball Team at Homewood-Flossmoor is accused of allegedly recruiting 6 girls from various schools to play at H-F. A lawsuit was filed by the parent of a H-F player only to be identified as “Jane Doe” against the IHSA, Anthony Smith & the supposed “recruits” stating that the new girls were brought on the team to assume prominent team positions. Now why would an obviously educated man and 13 year veteran coach risk doing something dumb like recruiting? He doesn’t need to recruit, his coaching record speaks for itself. Any smart parent would seek him out not the other way around.
So just what is this really all about? Is it because the girls that transferred to H-F were more athletically skilled, or the case of an athletically challenged team member and pissed off parent who is using this situation for another motive. It can’t be racial as the entire team is African American. It’s no doubt this lawsuit is going to cause a bit of friction on the team. The primary focus has been disturbed and for no apparent reason.
IHSA rules on eligibility are crystal clear and you can best believe IHSA did their homework on those girls prior to the start of the current season. We can recall back in the 80s when NBA star Nick Anderson transferred from Prosser HS to Simeon because he wanted to play with his friend Ben Wilson and how about Michael Jordan’s boys, who lived in Highland Park and attended Loyola, wanted to play at Whitney Young. They are not the first nor will they be the last to transfer schools in search of a better opportunity.
Funny thing though, we thought this was supposed to be about teamwork, camaraderie, success and bonding on and off the court. Of the 17 girls on the team 12 will be graduating in 2014, so again what exactly if this about. Of those 12 seniors how many of them will be going to college with a sports scholarship? Realistically speaking parents make the necessary sacrifices to ensure that their children will get the best educational experiences available, so why not do what it takes to make that happen. If Coach Smith is as good and his track says he is and our kid had a chance to play for him, we’d move to the moon if necessary. At the end of the day it’s not about us, it’s about the child and their future that’s it, that’s all.
Making layups versus making the grade is what’s important….right? Seems to me that “Jane Doe” and whomever the other litigants are got their priorities mixed up.
Peace and Blessings