Prep School Farce

Prep School Farce

 

So far I have posted a lot on this site (http://www.dcsportsfan.com/ ) in the last couple of weeks and the recurring theme seems to be that WCAC schools recruit and have an unfair advantage in sports because of it.  I happen to know personally that WCAC recruiting is illegal, and that the best athletic program in the WCAC swears off of the practice entirely.  There seem to be a lot of people under the impression that because you get invited to Open House or something that you are somehow being wooed or enticed to come to a school that does not give out athletic scholarships.

When I lived in Washington DC I volunteered for a non-profit that did provide hardship scholarships to deserving individuals that ordinarily would not have been able to afford the tuition at WCAC schools.  Now, if Nigel Munson (former DeMatha star, current Virginia Tech point guard) couldn’t get an athletic scholarship at DeMatha then I don’t know who could, so I think that my most recent examples of Capital Partners for Education (CPFE: http://www.cpfe.org ) graduates can put the rumors to rest.  The real culprits of recruiting seem to be the Oak Hills, Hargrave Military’s, Flint Hills, the old Harker Preps and the like and so forth.  (Maybe even Montrose Christian.)

Those types of "prep" schools often center on one sport and attract players with the possibility of playing against people that are less-physically developed while at the same time gaining national attention.  Nineteen-year-old men should not be playing against seventeen-year-old boys.  Nineteen-year-olds should be working towards degrees and not diplomas.  This entire preceding paragraph was my opinion which has been developed as a former educator, former coach, and as a professional.  As a bonus, I can also add that there is a huge difference between the physical capability of a seventeen-year-old and a nineteen-year-old because I’ve witnessed it time and time again when I used to push boots through basic training.

 

Think of this: the median black family income is below the poverty level for the United States.  I know what you are thinking: why is he turning this into a black and white thing?  Well the reason is because more minorities fall into the category of needing assistance to attend these schools.  The fact that the Archdiocese sprinkles money around is due in large part to increase the number of minorities in their churches and schools.  Their logic is that the kids that go to Catholic school are more likely to grow up to be adults that attend Catholic churches, and they are correct.  This is hardly an attempt to garner all of the athletes in the area into WCAC schools on the part of the Archdiocese. 

Now if a Catholic school is 75% non-minority, and the basketball and football team is comprised of 75% minority students, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where the Archdiocese is spending the money.  One can only hope that it is impartial and fair to everyone including non-athletes.  The Archdiocese can take solace in that they are perpetuating a Catholic mission, but the individual school is to blame if the only the athletes are benefiting from charity meant for everyone.

Plus can anyone name one student athlete at a WCAC school willing to go on record and say that his or her tuition was drastically reduced (50% or more) just because that person played on a sports team?

I’m also guessing that even with CPFE and Archdiocese scholarships the family still has to come up with 75% of all of the fees associated with private school.  I look at it like affirmative action: it may get your foot in the door, but that’s about it.  The rest is on the individual and the school that they attend.

Overall, it is pretty standard, so I think that it is fair throughout the league.  The WCAC is regulated well and the so called Prep schools have little oversight.  In a so called "Prep school" they can skirt accredidation rules by obtaining religious status by slapping "Christian" or "Baptist" on their names.  This religious academy is now exempt from the rules of normalized curriculums.  This isn’t where the abuses end though.  In one case the principal of a prep school was found to have no high school diploma, as he was the janitor at a real school.  No textbooks and no classes were also a gross injustice at this "school."

 

The Prep School Farce is the stepchild of the failed attempts of "reputable" private schools placing their best interests above that of a certain population.  The gripe is that it disproportionately affects minorities [read: young black males] and I believe it to be legit.  The argument burns the black academic community because it devalues education as a pursuit, and debases the individuals at the same time.  Nineteen-year-olds become commodities in limbo.  After bouncing around between the WCAC, IAC and a public school or two why not take a chance at fame and fast money by enrolling at a Prep School that will coddle you academically and let you play sports for as many years of eligibility that they can convince you that you need?

I hope that the players that read this are able to understand how they can at least become informed before they make their often hasty decisions.  I pray that coaches understand that they repeatedly roll the dice on futures and make their livings on the toils, hopes, and dreams of others.

"Pimping is big bid-ness, you dig?  Now… you got to go out there and get…." – THE MACK

 
 
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