E:60 - St. Frances, BW and the entire private school teeanage sports quandary

Discussion in 'Western Maryland Football' started by TDHelmick, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. TDHelmick

    TDHelmick Hall of Fame Poster
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    August 5, 2018
    by Todd Helmick

    I just got done watching the E:60 show on St. Frances. Some of my opinions won't jive with others and I'm sure to ruffle a few feathers but a good writer never withholds those type of sentiments. Make no mistake about it, teams are obviously avoiding St. Frances on the football field. The question WHY is what this whole fuss is about and WHY it made a story for ESPN. The multitude of reasons and/or excuses are varied but it boils down to one main issue...getting beat badly. Trust me when I tell you with 100% certainty that there are few coaches or administrators who will step up and admit the reason they don't want to play someone else is because they get beaten soundly. There is always some other way to phrase it so as not to make your own players, their families, fans and alums admit what they don't want to know while getting their delicate feelings hurt. Losing not only sucks, it's avoidable at this level.

    Most people here know who I am. I have been putting together the Fort Hill football schedules now for 10 years. The St. Frances schedule debacle is no different than what I have had to deal with at FH for a decade. MIAA schools don't wish to play St. Frances any more than local area teams / AMAC schools wish to play FH. Look to the scoreboard. I could have saved the Baltimore Sun and ESPN time and effort if they would just stop dodging the truth that exists right under everybody's noses when it comes to avoiding competition in today's world of sensitive feelings.

    Two completely misconstrued St. Frances concepts:

    1. This is not about safety concerns. Stating such is laughable. I have said it many times before...when a kid is going to get injured playing football, the size of the opponent is irrelevant. In fact, players stand a worse chance of getting injured against the lesser teams because they may have unqualified and smaller players playing out of position. Lots of bodies flying around. I have seen as many kids come off the Silver Oak and Mountain Ridge game with injuries as I do against the Melbourne Central teams. Ironically, Silver Oak is both on the Fort Hill and St. Frances schedule for a second season.

    2. This is not about race. Stating such is laughable. The irony is that the same people who infer that race may be the issue are doing exactly the same thing as those who say this is about safety concerns. This St. Frances issue has nothing to do with either. And I can say this with certainty because all the years St. Frances struggled as a football program nobody was refusing to play them. Now all of the sudden St. Frances is handing out the scoreboard beating. Gee, what changed? St. Frances didn't just magically become a predominately black school over night. They started being a juggernaut football team overnight. If St. Frances went 1-9 last year none of these MIAA schools would have dropped them. There are plenty of predominantly black schools within 90 miles of St. Frances and you won't see any of them adding the Panthers on their football schedule. End of this discussion, period.

    THE HARD TRUTHS PEOPLE IGNORE
    What is happening in America when it comes to high school sports is appalling. The IMG Academy and St. Frances projects of the world are taking 15, 16 and 17 year old kids from far away places, away from their families, building them homes, feeding them, paying their tuition while treating them like college recruits all in the name of building powerhouse athletic programs. And if you think some of these teenagers and their families are not getting paid hard cash and promises filtered in from Nike, Adidas or the Poggi Investment Fund you must own ocean front property in Oklahoma or be a Louisville basketball fan.

    It's all bullshit. Let the kids be kids. They have plenty of time in life to be treated like a piece of meat. Stop telling me these low income teenagers on scholarship at places like St. Frances have now been given an opportunity. An opportunity to do what? Get in shape by running on the poverty stricken Baltimore streets full of bullet shells, drug needles, trash and human excrement as ESPN demonstrated? These are all top level football players. They have tons of opportunity at places closer to where they live. They are going to college on scholarship regardless of the prep school they play for.

    IMPORTANT
    If you are serious about helping kids that need it the most then do it for needy teenage ball players who are not four and five star recruits and are not going to college to play football on scholarship. Coach Poggi may look proud on TV about what he is doing with his multi-million dollar investments but the old expression that true charity should be anonymous has been truly lost here. His donations may be helping kids possibly, but it is all being done in the name of his football team five fold. The St. Frances E:60 show stated that St. Frances had 17 transfers in 2017 with 5 of them being from out of state and 18 of those seniors were signing Division I scholarships. Seriously? St. Frances has roughly 200 students in the whole school where half of the enrollment is on the football roster. Hello, maybe that is a problem for other schools!

    THE LOGAN HOLGORSEN SAGA
    The epitome of all this is the story of Logan Holgorsen the son of WVU coach Dana. He first played QB at Morgantown HS in West Virginia, then last year transferred 213 miles to play at St. Frances, found out he was not going to be the starter at St. Frances and transfers back to Morgantown to suit up for cross town rival University HS now. If another QB beats him out at University it's easy to know Logan will transfer to another school where he can be the star QB. It's sickening.

    BISHOP WALSH
    I'm well aware of what Bishop Walsh is attempting to do with basketball. I realize BW was on the verge of losing sports all together not to mention what the ACIT means to this area. Yes, I find it personally stimulating and exciting about the prospect of BW basketball being a plethora of college bound hoops players from around the globe. But I also find myself asking questions such as why in the world would an already highly recruited teenager from Philadelphia, Baltimore/Washington, Florida, Europe or even Frederick for that matter want to travel to Cumberland and play basketball for a school that is four months removed from beating Paw Paw by eight points? These things don't add up other than what money can afford. But we are again talking about teenagers. I personally don't think it's right to handle teenagers this way but it is entertaining and it's how the world turns now.

    My point here however is that BW now needs to be playing teams that spend gobs of money doing the same thing in the name of athletics. That is paying 16 year old kids from far away to play high school sports for their team. When I hear thoughts of Allegany, Fort Hill and other AMAC schools still remaining on the BW hoops schedule it boggles my mind. If you have the money to pay kids to attend your school, you have money to fill a schedule with teams 400-800 miles away. The same places your players came from. Hear that St. Frances?

    If Coach Poggi has the money to pay kids to play for his program, he has the money to pay for a non-MIAA schedule. The fact ESPN can infer that "poor old" St. Frances now has to play teams from Canada and Florida is a travesty, I respond by saying the fact St. Frances pays kids from Canada and Florida to play football at their school is far worse of a travesty.

    MIAA SCHOOLS
    To the MIAA schools I say, you look extremely stupid. When I see MIAA schools such as Mount St. Joseph or Calvert Hall cry about how another team recruits I shake my head wondering how blind people in certain positions really have become. The same MIAA schools that have built their long time entire athletic program around recruiting, transfers and money. Look in the mirror. Unbelievable hypocrisy.

    Way too many wrongs in this whole process.
     
    1 TDHelmick, Aug 5, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  2. Waggle Pass

    Waggle Pass Hall of Fame Poster
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    Great post TH.

    I remember watching SFA in that playoff or whatever it was on ESPN in December. They stated that the starting QB was from Richmond, VA. I started thinking, wait a minute......isn't St. Francis supposed to be a Maryland school?
     
  3. loco09

    loco09 Junior Varsity Reader
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    First off I agree with most of the article and the basic premise of it. High school recruiting and transfers have been going on for decades, especially at the private schools. However, in the past 10 years or so we have seen an explosion of basically athletic factories such as IMG, St. Frances now, Bishop Gorman, even DeMatha to some extent as their reputation brings in the best of the DMV and beyond. What makes the St Frances situation different to me is that it's other private schools refusing to play, and yes while some might not recruit to the extent and distance SFA does they all have the resources and ability to do so. It would be different if for instance BW had all of the AMAC schools drop them as you're dealing with public vs private in a small area no one should blame or expect them for doing that as it benefits neither side. These schools have no one to blame but themselves for scheduling issues for the most part, as you said Todd, if you want to pay to play then find other comparable schools as there are plenty out there. I have not heard any rumblings of BW trying to force local teams to play them or getting upset if they won't. St. Frances playing the victim here isn't a great look but again they had a schedule that was appropriate for them and the other privates backed out as hypocritical as that is, as you mentioned. I'm a BW guy, I applaud them for doing what they are doing to bring attention, notoriety, and hopefully additional resources and enrollment to the school, they have to quite honestly, however it does lose a bit of the community aspect as these are never going to be truly local kids on the team. All of us here love sports and it is exciting but at some point you have to step back and remember these are kids and this is high school.

    Sorry for the rambling post just throwing out some thoughts.
     
  4. Lagmeister

    Lagmeister Hall of Fame Poster
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    I applaud your post. I have read no finer words on the subject. Your analysis was pure art.
     
  5. Old German

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    Times are a changing. So is secondary education. As new experiments such as vouchers and even public charter schools become the norm all over, new schools and academies are popping up everywhere. I saw recently how Lebron James actually created a school in Akron Ohio for at risk kids. Many public schools in urban areas are failing the kids. I realize it's not just the schools faults as so many urban youth come from broken homes and tough situations that schools alone cannot help them with. These corporately sponsored programs are enabling these kids to have a great opportunity as far as sports, and schools like BW are solid academically, so they are also given great academic opportunities that will better prepare them for college. I see many yeas and neas to this, as I still like the good days when local public schools were a big part of the community in all rural, urban, and suburban areas. I do like the opportunities that these programs offer to these kids as long as the schools manage to keep academics at the forefront. I look forward to watching BW in basketball this season. I know it will never happen, but it would be cool if they could do the same thing in football.
     
  6. TDHelmick

    TDHelmick Hall of Fame Poster
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    I pretty much agreed with you as my closing paragraph rips the MIAA schools for being extremely hypocritical.

    I also have given my two cents to the Alco and FH hoops people. I wouldn't play BW this year or any other year anymore than I would play any school with a national recruiting plan. And I would think the BW folks have to be OK with such a statement. Although I have had quite a few BW alum give me crap about this, which led to some heated discussion. I never have criticized BW for dropping FH football back in 1996 while continuing to field a team for 16 more years. It made no sense for BW to get beat 50-0 despite not having to be concerned with any playoff system. I would apply the same logic to hoops. I'm sure BW will be fine not having to play anyone in this area. Why would they want to anyway?
     
    loco09 likes this.
  7. bigdawgrefwmd

    bigdawgrefwmd Hall of Fame Poster
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    The Lebron Jame School is a Public School that will actually cost the taxpayers money.
    https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/08/whos_paying_for_lebron_james_n_1.html

    I went to Bishop Walsh and I love the idea of having Private Schools, I just don't understand when you recruit and pay for players to play in high school while paying for their housing, meals and such why they would of thought that all of those other schools were going to continue to play them.
    I'm all for what BW is doing in basketball but I also think it will actually cost them some money in the long run as I think a lot of locals will now just go to Allegany or Fort Hill and especially any of the rich kids that live up in the Seton drive area now that there is a new school and they will actually be able to play sports.


    "The coverage made it look like the whole thing is his," said district spokesman Mark Williamson. "

    No doubt, by design.


    here's the actual article:
    CLEVELAND, Ohio - You wouldn't know from all the national coverage that LeBron James isn't paying for everything at his new I Promise School in Akron.

    He's paying for part of it. A good part of it.

    But it's also a public school within the Akron school district, which means that taxpayers will pay for the bulk of the costs.

    The exact breakdown of expenses for the new I Promise School is unclear, since the district and the LeBron James Family Foundation are still sorting out final details of their contract. But the district will pay more than half the costs - perhaps around 75 percent - once it is fully running.
    District officials are walking a fine line this week as they try to explain how the new school, which aims to help at-risk students, will work.

    On the one hand, James and his foundation are making a huge gift to the city and its students to complete a vision James says he has been developing for years.

    The foundation says it's spending about $2 million for the school's first year, including startup costs. It has also committed to spending $2 million or more a year when the school has grown to capacity. The exact amount is still to be determined.

    In addition, James' name is also instrumental in drawing the community support that will let the school help some of the most struggling kids in the city.
    "This school would not have happened without the partnership with LeBron James," said district Treasurer Ryan Pendleton.

    On the other hand, I Promise is a district school. It's not a private school or even a charter school, a form of public schools that are funded with tax dollars but are privately-run.

    Though James will have a huge influence on the school, I Promise will be run by the district.

    It's a district-owned building. The district will hire and pay the teachers and administration. Kids will ride district buses to school. And they will all eat the free breakfast and lunch the district gives all students.

    I Promise will eventually cost about $8 million a year to run out of the district's regular budget, covered mostly by shifting students, teachers and money from other schools, the district says.

    "The coverage made it look like the whole thing is his," said district spokesman Mark Williamson. "He did a lot, but taxpayers should know it's their investment too."

    James and his Family Foundation have donated millions over the last several years to the school district and to kids in the city where he grew up. Some have come through the dropout prevention program he started called I Promise, which identifies kids who are falling behind in school and offers support to keep them enrolled, learning and on the path to graduation.

    The new I Promise school gives the program a home to concentrate services. It will take in in about 120 students per grade, selected by random lottery from students who are behind their peers in classwork. That's a quarter of Akron's at-risk students at each grade level, the district says, but the I Promise program will continue working with the other students who remain at other schools.

    Since the school is new, it opened this week with just the third and fourth grades, but it will add grades each year until it covers first through eighth grade.

    The foundation says it has spent about $2 million this year, largely to redesign and refurnish the building at 400 West Market St., a district building which has been used for several schools over the years. Most times, it was a temporary home for students while their main school was being demolished and rebuilt.

    About $500,000 of the foundation's contributions this year, and likely more, will continue. Those cover extra teachers to reduce class sizes to 23 students per-teacher at most, staff training and I Promise's after-school program.

    That only covers two grades, so those costs will quadruple to $2 million a year as the school grows to all eight grades.

    The $2 million would be about a fifth of the schools total costs, but the foundation's share will also increase in other ways.

    This year's costs also include hiring two people to manage the "wraparound" social services the school will have for students. The school will follow the same pattern of providing social services to students - like counseling, health checkups, food pantries, clothing and tutoring - used by districts like Cincinnati and Cleveland, along with a few other Akron schools.

    The foundation will hire a coordinator for the school, who will work with different service agencies to locate help for students. Sometimes other agencies provide the services for free, though there can be costs at times.

    How much these costs increase over time is still not determined.

    James and the foundation have also provided each student with a bicycle. James has said that he used to ride his bicycle to escape his neighborhood at times, so he wants students to have them.

    And then there is James' offer of free tuition at University of Akron to students in the program who graduate. They're not official costs of the school, which stops at eighth grade and doesn't include high school, but are part of the program's mission.
    James announced the scholarships in 2015 for students that were in the I Promise program. The foundation says there are about 1,300 students already eligible for the scholarships between third and 10th grade, with the new I Promise School students to be added.

    No scholarships have been given yet. The first eligible students wouldn't graduate high school and start college until 2021.

    The university, not the foundation, is guaranteeing those scholarships, though the two are hoping to raise money to cover some costs.

    The university and foundation are also working to develop an "I Promise Institute" at the university's InfoCision Stadium to manage and improve the program, study how it is working. In addition, the university will place student teachers at the new school.
     
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  8. eaglesinsider

    eaglesinsider All County Poster
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    I'm a private school guy. I was one of a number of McDonogh football alums that sent a letter to their athletic director in May asking her to drop the game against Saint Frances this season.

    MD private schools recruit, true enough, but not to the level that SFA is doing, no where near it. Essentially it was like dropping IMG Academy in the MIAA A and asking all those schools to be ok with it. Dozens of transfers, senior transfers, reclassified players that were 19 or older. Biff Poggi will stop at nothing to 1) embarrass the MIAA because he feels slighted by the league and 2) win a national championship to stroke his own ego.

    Comparing SFA to the rest of the MIAA is like comparing Wise to the rest of the MPSSAA. It'd be like dropping Wise in Western MD, having them play only the 1A West teams and me telling you guys to shut up and take your beatings from Wise because they're no different than Hancock in the end. They're both public schools who draw talent from their local communities.

    When Poggi was at Gilman no one complained even though there were years they blew out the whole league because he did it within the acceptable limits of the league, even if he pushed it right to the edge. They hardly ever brought in a transfer and Gilman was an expensive school ($30,000+) with a sub-10% acceptance rate. Saint Frances is $9,000 and kids don't take an entrance exam or have to have even ok grades at their previous schools.

    I hate what high level private school football has become. When I was at McDonogh not that long ago we had a team ranked in the top 100 in the nation and 90% of our players weren't football recruits, we went to the school because our fathers went there or because it's one of the best academic schools in the nation. Many of my teammates were actually better in a winter or spring sport.

    McDonogh had to step up their recruiting because Biff Poggi was at Gilman and was killing us every year. McDonogh-Gilman is to those two schools what Fort Hill-Allegany is to Western MD. 5,000-10,000+ in the stands every year when a normal game for either school might draw 500. Losing over and over wasn't an option and within 3 years McDonogh had beaten Poggi at his own game and running-clocked Gilman. They never wanted to be a football power.

    When Poggi was forced out at Gilman, the MIAA schools collectively decided to cut the recruiting arms race and return to the old days where teams were mostly just made up of kids who wanted to go to that school for whatever reason. Then along comes Saint Frances and Poggi pops back up determined to punish the league and Gilman for forcing him out. It was either get rid of SFA or risk schools leaving the MIAA altogether. Loyola already left the league in football in December, which is part of the reason FH was able to schedule them. Others would have followed suit.

    Of course, some of this rests on the MIAA leadership. Lee Dove, the executive director, makes me wish for someone as competent as Ned Sparks, which is an incredibly low bar. The league ignores all evidence of transfers and refuses to discipline SFA or comment on anything. I've seen text messages sent from SFA coaches to current players at MIAA schools trying to get them to transfer to SFA. The HC at Mervo (Baltimore City Public School) lodged a formal complaint with the MIAA over the same issue. The reason SFA isn't playing IMG or DeMatha this year? Both schools dropped SFA because they tried to recruit players away from them too.

    I'll end my rant with this: I think it's pathetic that an adult's ego jeopardizes kids just trying to play a game and have a good experience. Poggi, the big-time HS basketball coaches, all those kinds of guys are just trying to chase that mythical HS national title for their mantelpiece. What's sad in the end is that 99% of Americans couldn't name last years HSFB or HSBB national champions, much less the ones who won it 5 years ago. I follow HSFB much more closely than most and without looking it up I'd struggle to say who won the national championship last year. Those titles mean nothing in HS compared to the lessons you learn and the experiences you have. A state title is a tangible thing, you can play in a state championship game and win. A national championship in HS is not. It's just your name on a trophy given out months after the season by some guys or some computer system that think you'd probably beat everyone else. It's not worth selling your soul over.
     
  9. CometCrazy21

    CometCrazy21 Varsity Poster
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    Great insight and reassurance of some details/info I’ve known and thought the case for some time now. Not to get too far off topic. Do you have info on the new Baltimore Board since the old one is obsolete
     
  10. BoyznBlue

    BoyznBlue Blue Chip Poster
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    It's extremely naïve to rule out race in this conversation. Especially, from people like us who are looking at it from the outside. Baltimore journalists - professionals who have covered the league for many years - are saying race is a factor. But now people from Western Maryland can flat deny race in this admittedly complex situation? Did you even watch the show when the SFA player said he gets called the "N-word" during every game?

    Also, Poggi is not doing anything unique. This is the same thing Dancel did at Good Counsel and what Plank is doing at St. John's. It's unique that the other MIAA schools are dropping SFA, and as the Baltimore radio host said in the documentary, "safety is being used as a code word for racism."
     
  11. BoyznBlue

    BoyznBlue Blue Chip Poster
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    You obviously have an ax to grind with SFA, but you stated several things that are incorrect.

    #1 - DeMatha didn't drop SFA this year because of recruiting. They never even had a game scheduled. Last year they did scrimmage which DeMatha won.

    #2 - The MIAA and the Baltimore media have investigated SFA thoroughly and they found no evidence. If you're saying the MIAA rules are too soft, that is a different argument. But with all the eyes on SFA right now if there was any evidence they committed violations it would have been unearthed a long time ago.

    #3 - The Wise comparison is totally wacky. 97% of Wise players are from their jurisdiction. In the last two years they have taken 5 players from out of district. Which is what most public high schools do. Because of the way the residential lines are drawn they have a lot of students. They also have the largest and best youth football program in the state in their jurisdiction.
     
  12. Lagmeister

    Lagmeister Hall of Fame Poster
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    I taught a few years at a private school in Maryland... and yes, the school hired a big time basketball coach and recruited. The school also had high academic standards and the number of students brought in primarily for their athletic skills was limited (not that you can't play sports and belong to Mensa). However, for SFA to have a student body of around 200 - half being on the football team - displays a shabby scholastic paradigm.
     
  13. BoyznBlue

    BoyznBlue Blue Chip Poster
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    Another "interesting" comment. If you taught at a private school and are familiar with private schools in general, you should know there are many very good small private schools. If SFA has a student body of 200 and half - as you say - are on the football team, they have 100 students not on the team. I'm not sure why that would necessarily be considered "shabby". How many high school students attend Calvary Christian?
     
  14. Lagmeister

    Lagmeister Hall of Fame Poster
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    If half the student body are athletes recruited from all-over-God's-creation then that appears to me to be a shabby academic system. To me, self evident. I have nothing but praise for the small private schools; I consider it a privilege to have been part of one... and, it was an excellent resume builder into the corporate world.

    As everyone knows, I am not always the best friend of Helmick. But I try to give credit where credit is due. I will not attempt to restate all of his insights.... mainly, I couldn't do a better job. Just consider, again, everything he posted and add in my summation about the number of athletes in the SFA student body, where half the students are almost by definition bought and paid-for, for sports... and I'll rest my case on that.

    Worth quoting from Helmick:
    THE HARD TRUTHS PEOPLE IGNORE
    What is happening in America when it comes to high school sports is appalling. The IMG Academy and St. Frances projects of the world are taking 15, 16 and 17 year old kids from far away places, away from their families, building them homes, feeding them, paying their tuition while treating them like college recruits all in the name of building powerhouse athletic programs. And if you think some of these teenagers and their families are not getting paid hard cash and promises filtered in from Nike, Adidas or the Poggi Investment Fund you must own ocean front property in Oklahoma or be a Louisville basketball fan.
     
    14 Lagmeister, Aug 6, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  15. BoyznBlue

    BoyznBlue Blue Chip Poster
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    Helmick wrote his opinion which he is certainly entitled to, and he made some good points. That's basically what message boards are for. But he's not writing facts. If you say SFA has a "shabby academic system" you should know something about their academics other than the ratio of athletes to students. Calling their academics "shabby" is a very strong statement. If you look up their test scores then you may have a good point. But If your only evidence is they have 100 students, then stay consistent and label every small school "shabby".

    By the same standard, Helmick's statement, "This is not about race. Stating such is laughable" is laughable (and condescending) itself. Tell the young man in the documentary who said he gets called the "N-Word" every game that it's not about race.
     
  16. TDHelmick

    TDHelmick Hall of Fame Poster
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    I backed my statement. Since St. Frances has been long documented as a historical black school for well over a century then it is very simple logic to deduce that if this was truly about race the MIAA would never have played and admitted St. Frances as a member from the start. I'm positive if any top level St. Frances players want to transfer to another MIAA school they would take them with open arms.

    If race is truly a factor than so are safety concerns. I believe the player at St. Frances when he says they have been called the "N" word. I also believe the AD at Gilman when she said this was about safety concerns. Both said so directly to the camera. It would be just as condescending to assume a woman in power is lying. Of which I see neither. But I do find both statements to be laughable as to why some of the MIAA schools pulled out on St. Frances. Your answer is on the scoreboard. I do not need to have covered that league for 10 years because this "avoiding and dropping teams" situation happens in Western Maryland leagues and every other part of 50 states. Aside from that I recently lived in Baltimore for 18 years.

    Keyser isn't playing FH this year after playing 50 times since 1936. FH doesn't play Martinsburg anymore after playing 72 times since 1937. Do I really need to issue a code word as to why that is so? St. Frances has been in the MIAA for how long? LOL, mere childs play compared to what I have seen first hand when it comes to dropping and avoiding opponents. From teams in the same league, the same playoff region, the same neighborhoods.

    I know all too well first hand what phrases and excuses can be used to drop an opponent when the scoreboard is lopsided or why one team doesn't want to play another. Rarely does anyone admit they just don't like getting beat. Race and safety concerns are old hat. Some others to chew on: refs cheat, dirty play, running up the score, difference in philosophy, our team is down right now, school size, bus expense, making the playoffs, etc., etc.
     
    16 TDHelmick, Aug 6, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  17. TDHelmick

    TDHelmick Hall of Fame Poster
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    I agree with you on many fronts. I also have had this debate before whereas there is no way, shape of form that private schools should be permitted to compete against public schools for a state title like they do in almost every other state. It's the same thing as saying St. Frances should not compete with other MIAA schools. Teams that recruit, grab transfers, use money and pull kids from far distances in the name of athletics have no business playing for the same trophy as teams who cannot. Everything you just stated supports this and is what I have been saying for 30 years. If the MIAA schools want to recruit on any level that is their right to do so. Just play in your own league against other teams who do the same.
     
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  18. TDHelmick

    TDHelmick Hall of Fame Poster
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    Just to back my statements with links:

    Enrollment at St. Frances grades 9-12: 180 students
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Frances_Academy_(Baltimore,_Maryland)

    2018 Football Roster: 79 players
    http://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/st-frances-academy-panthers-(baltimore,md)/football/roster.htm

    So half is a relative term. A better percentage based on these documented numbers would be more exact at 43%.

    But yea, if you have 180 students and 79 are on the football roster this is no doubt a football factory situation more than it is a school. Seeing that the football roster maintains a list of transfers and out of state students from far distances I would have to be shown that the rest of the student population consists of the same type of transfers and out of state enrollments to feel otherwise. Reminds me of Eastern Christian Academy.
     
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  19. Lagmeister

    Lagmeister Hall of Fame Poster
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    "But If your only evidence is they have 100 students, then stay consistent and label every small school "shabby"."

    The above statement is silly. Taking up almost half the seats of a local high school in order to build a national powerhouse football team is a bad (shabby if you will) academic paradigm: I stand by my comment. My personal experience was teaching at a private school whose student athletes were a fraction of the student body.

    As Helmick clarified, the SFA ratio of athletes to the total enrollment was 43%. That 43% is the percentage of bought and paid for athletes from all over: so yes, I believe that is a shabby system. And, any other school that is a football factory (in Todd's words) I would call the same.
     
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  20. loco09

    loco09 Junior Varsity Reader
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    Another example is Huntington Prep in WV, they exist solely to be a basketball team, they don't even have a school building, they attend classes at a different school but the basketball team has one hell of a roster most years.
     
  21. BrianH1974

    BrianH1974 Blue Chip Poster
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    Safety concerns? Hahaha. What a crock of shit. Those MIAA schools just dont want to get their ass beat. They all freaking recruit.

    but beware of any person who plays the race card. For they are usually the person who is the racist. The whole of the MIAA is full of recruited black men there to do one thing - win football games.
     
  22. loco09

    loco09 Junior Varsity Reader
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    I dont dispute that race plays a role in some of this as for years the other Catholic schools look down on St Frances because of perceived poor academics, lack of rich white alums and donors, etc I believe the kid being called the N word because unfortunately thats still the world we live in today. However, just speaking for football and the dropping of games it is because they don't want to get beat badly, bottom line, no other reason about it. Loyola, Gilman, etc dont drop SFA from basketball or other sports so why football? because they were going to lose by 50.
     
  23. TDHelmick

    TDHelmick Hall of Fame Poster
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    Don't get me wrong, I won't dispute race sadly plays a role in these environments with a handful of people. They just have nothing to do with teams dropping St. Frances in football. As you so correctly put it, those schools have no trouble playing SFA in other sports.
     
  24. Old German

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    I just like the prospect of these kids being able to get a better opportunity than they would have where they are from. Catholic school education usually is pretty good, and hopefully a small teacher to student ratio should benefit the kids and get them ready for college academics. Best wishes to these kids. Would love to see more opportunities open up for more kids.
     
  25. BoyznBlue

    BoyznBlue Blue Chip Poster
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    You and other people on the board sound naïve and basically clueless when discussing this issue. It would be the same as if a bunch of people from Baltimore came on this board and attempted to give an accurate analysis of Western Maryland football. They would sound ridiculous. First of all, the comparison between SFA and what happens in WMD is not equivalent no matter how hard you want to make seem so. Secondly, if you've never experienced racism it's almost impossible to have a complete understanding of the concept. Finally, I have never said that racism is the only factor, in fact I said earlier the situation is complex, but for people from Western Maryland to completely ignore racism as an element in this situation is laughable and condescending.

    Even the visual is ridiculous. Mike Preston, sportswriter for the Baltimore Sun, a person who has covered Baltimore prep sports for many years, says racism is a factor in the MIAA's decision making. Dr. Kaye Whitehead, professor at Loyola University in Baltimore and talk show host, says racism is a factor in the MIAA's decision making. SFA player Eyabi Anoma says he gets called the "N-Word" every game. But people from Cumberland can't believe racism is a factor??? OK.......
     
  26. Lagmeister

    Lagmeister Hall of Fame Poster
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    I have a general rule over my many years in forums never to discuss race or religion. Only once did I slightly break that rule in defending FH against some accusations.

    My point in all this is the education factor: you have more than a half million students enrolling every year in colleges that need remedial work (basis Jan. 2017, PBS online, pbs.org).

    Consider Maryland:

    "...many states have strikingly high remediation rates in their public colleges and universities.
    One of those is Maryland. At many public schools in the state, it’s uncommon for an incoming student not to be placed in remedial education. At Baltimore City Community College, for instance, in the fall of 2015, only 13 percent of students were deemed ready to start on college-level math and English courses right away, according to data provided by the school." -
    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/colleges-enroll-students-arent-prepared-higher-education


    The national cost of this alone is $7 billion a year. And yet, we have high schools funding the cost of athletes from all over just to build sports programs. It makes no sense whether public or private.

    This isn't helping anyone. This is a waste of money. SFA is only the obvious, current example. What is also obvious - again pointed out by Helmick - is that these 'paid for' athletes were going to get scholarships wherever they played.

    It is a travesty with such inner city need to give those seats to a powerhouse football program. They should give them to local youth by lottery or need.

    This is consistent with my overall view of high school sports. As most should remember, I have always maintained my position that Alco and FH should play homecoming and hit the books. High school sports are there to enhance the educational experience by helping to develop a sense of community and to prepare students to be better citizens. No high school sports program should exist to get scholarships, championships or national recognition. It's just sports dammit.
     
  27. Waggle Pass

    Waggle Pass Hall of Fame Poster
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    "You and other people on the board sound naïve and basically clueless when discussing this issue. It would be the same as if a bunch of people from Baltimore came on this board and attempted to give an accurate analysis of Western Maryland football."

    That's something you attempt to do quite often.


    You try to weave racism into almost every thread you comment on here.
     
  28. TDHelmick

    TDHelmick Hall of Fame Poster
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    It's obvious the race part of this equation is important to you. While it may or may not be a factor there is obviously more to the story as well. Outside of this I cannot tell where you stand in regards to MIAA teams playing or not playing SFA. So are you saying teams in the MIAA should be forced to play SFA?

    You are correct though, the Western MD scheduling situation isn't the same as what the MIAA is dealing with. It's far worse up here and has been for a much longer time. And you have no clue about it because you never sat in those AMAC meetings when the league was first formed, you never sat in those meetings two years later when everyone just said we are dropping FH in football only. You never sat in those MPSSAA meetings where it was reported how much money FH has handed over to the MPSSAA without representation as a member. You never sat in those meetings to watch the urban population centers such as PG County, Montgomery County and Baltimore City just set the rules as they see fit with complete disregard for how it affects rural student populations. You never sat behind a desk to have 100 opponents each year with the same open date reject playing your kids. You never covered it as a journalist. You are not part of the process in any remote shape or form yet you have posted away here for years blasting us about the FH schedule dilemma as if you have. If you want to keep telling us that race plays the main role with this SFA issue than you are also saying that because FH is not an all-black school that it's OK everyone in the league dropped them? That's about as condescending and racially ignorant as anything posted here. The FH scheduling situation and the SFA scheduling situation is exactly identical in so many ways. All these students have received an unfair shake. FH beats AMAC teams by 50 points. SFA beats MIAA teams by 50 points. If you are too blinded to see these common aspects it would be par for the course.

    Bottom line -- if you want to focus strictly on just the race issue that's fine. I have attempted to discuss more than just this aspect. I have called out the MIAA, I have called out the people hiding behind safety concerns, I have called out recruiting practices. It's all not good for teenage student-athletes.
     
    28 TDHelmick, Aug 7, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  29. Lagmeister

    Lagmeister Hall of Fame Poster
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    I might add, FH's issues with scheduling are not the result of their own making. SFA, through its conscious decisions of massive recruiting and funding thereof, created their own problem.
     
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  30. TDHelmick

    TDHelmick Hall of Fame Poster
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    My main question to anyone would be how is the AMAC schools dropping FH in football different than the MIAA schools dropping SFA in football? You may have answered part of it. Personally, I don't want to see all the AMAC schools on the FH football schedule due to the uneven scoreboard balance. But that applies to SFA at this point as well. I have been told there are plenty of teams for FH to play. I would say that too applies to SFA five fold. I have heard MIAA schools talk about safety concerns. I have heard AMAC schools talk about safety concerns. The current SFA situation is no different than what I have been dealing with for a decade. If someone is going to tell me race is the difference then I say kids should be afforded the same opportunities and equality regardless of student diversity. If it's someone's opinion the MIAA schools should be forced to play SFA or face penalty, then I would say the AMAC should have been forced to play FH or face penalty. Which based on experience leads me to believe we may have seen the last of the MIAA.

    My basic take is that SFA is a football factory with 43% of their kids coming here to play football. I'm very certain those numbers are even more a skewed when factoring in the other sports. They have money to pay kids to play there, then they have money to find games and travel. The MIAA dropped them, it sucks, move on and go find games to play. At least SFA has the finances. To the MIAA I say shame on you hypocritical cowards.
     
  31. eaglesinsider

    eaglesinsider All County Poster
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    Mike Preston sent his son to Boys' Latin and paid full tuition to do so. If the MIAA was so racist why was he ok sending his son to probably the most lily white, preppy school in the entire league?

    All these schools play Saint Frances in every other sport and routinely get crushed by them in boys and girls basketball. Does racism only extend to football?

    From my experience in the MIAA, the only people calling African-American players the "n-word" are other African-American players and the SFA kids are using that word way more than it's being directed towards them. All the MIAA A schools are AT LEAST 30-40% minority on their football teams. How do you think it would go if a white player at an MIAA school used that word on the field? I'm not sure he'd be able to leave the locker room under his own power afterwards.

    For what it's worth I remember getting off the bus to play Archbishop Curley my senior year and having kids clinging to the fence surrounding their stadium screaming "y'all white boys gonna get your a** beat today." That was the only racially based insult directed by members of one race towards members of another race I've ever heard in a decade plus of regular attendance at MIAA A conference games.
     
  32. eaglesinsider

    eaglesinsider All County Poster
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    Not one central place that I know of. They pretty much all scattered. Baltimore Sports and Life set up a HS forum and you can find me on the MoCo boards.
     
  33. TDHelmick

    TDHelmick Hall of Fame Poster
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    The biggest head scratching line I have ever seen published by The Sun is that "safety" is another term for "racism".

    Apparently the United States private and federal government agencies studying the concussion issue at length in sports haven't received that memo. However, when this issue with SFA comes up it is quickly dismissed. Even more hypocritical is how the same Baltimore Sun touted the bill authored by District 12 Delegate Terri Hill, a Democrat representing Baltimore, that attempted to ban tackle football for kids under 14 years old in Maryland as being a breakthrough in youth "safety" for contact sports. Now all of the sudden the "safety" concerns associated with tackle football are not an issue to base decisions on.

    When one just sits back and absorbs such a thing, given how much the concussion protocol and safety in football issue has been beaten to death these days, it's so humanly unimaginable that when someone has a safety concern it gets quickly dismissed in the name of racism. That's crazy.

    But I do want to go on record yet again stating that safety concerns had absolutely nothing to do with MIAA schools dropping SFA.
     
  34. BoyznBlue

    BoyznBlue Blue Chip Poster
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    We're talking about a private school. You're acting like they are wasting taxpayer funds. You said, you attended a private school growing up, I did also, this is generally the way private schools operate. They usually depend on donations from alumni and benefactors. Yes, there are a few ultra-wealthy schools but most catholic schools aren't rolling in dough. You are cherry-picking SFA but you can say this about almost any catholic school. In fact, on average public school teachers get paid more than private school teachers. I don't know of many private schools that turn down donations of any kind.
     
    34 BoyznBlue, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  35. BoyznBlue

    BoyznBlue Blue Chip Poster
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    You must be joking, lol. So when you watched the documentary you interpreted the young man was only referring to "African-American players calling the "n-word" to other African-American players"? Really dude???

    I will say again for the record, I'm not calling the MIAA racist or saying this decision is 100% racist. As I have now said at least twice, this is complicated. I am saying based on what people who live in Baltimore and have in depth knowledge of the situation are saying, that racism cannot be ruled out as a factor. It's actually crazy that people who live in Allegany County can make a definitive judgment.
     
    35 BoyznBlue, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  36. BoyznBlue

    BoyznBlue Blue Chip Poster
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    This is also a joke, I have said numerous times that WMD schools are clearly avoiding FH because of their local dominance, but there's no comparison to the SFA situation. SFA is willing take on all comers, while FH is also running around trying to avoid certain schools. And FH has definitely contributed to their scheduling issues. First of all they left the CVAL, where they had a set schedule, to avoid Martinsburg. I've previously mentioned several times I know the kick-off classic promoters reached out to FH looking to set up games and FH declined. And just in the last two years, you see where Dunbar, Middletown and Lackey have reached out looking for games but they couldn't pick up the phone, but Capitol Christian and Silver Oak are on speed-dial, lol. And I'm sure other schools have called that haven't been made public. And can somebody explain why they dropped Friendship this year?

    I also want to point out this thread is about SFA and BW, once again people make every conversation about the FH schedule and then they wonder why we're always talking about it, lol
     
    36 BoyznBlue, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  37. cumbfanatic

    cumbfanatic Blue Chip Poster
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    Boyz in Blue post directly above this post, is a good post and may be one of the best that he ever posted. I do disagree with opposing teams white players calling them the N word, it may have happened I don't know, but I don't think so. Those opposing teams have many black players on their own team.
     
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  38. Seasoned Lettuce

    Seasoned Lettuce All State Poster
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    No matter what side of this issue you are on, I posit that this is one of the more interesting/thought provoking discussions I've seen on here. I'm enjoying the debate and the issues associated with St. Frances.
     
    38 Seasoned Lettuce, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  39. Waggle Pass

    Waggle Pass Hall of Fame Poster
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    "You and other people on the board sound naïve and basically clueless when discussing this issue. It would be the same as if a bunch of people from Baltimore came on this board and attempted to give an accurate analysis of Western Maryland football."
     
  40. Lagmeister

    Lagmeister Hall of Fame Poster
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    I never posted that I attended a private school. I went from the Columbia Street School to Allegany (7-12) and then to Frostburg University. Which, incidentally, I have also posted several times.

    I also never posted that private schools could not do as they pleased. My position - which was clear - was a moral stance against SFA. Read again.
     
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