The Kentucky High School Athletic Association had to know that its new rule would be challenged.
Attempting to stifle the recruiting of football players by Trinity and St. X, the KHSAA passed a rule that said students who get scholarships for high school tuition at private schools can’t play sports.
Only the problem is that all kinds of private school students get academic scholarships. And one Presentation student, whose parents are thrilled that she earned an academic scholarship to offset the $8,500 annual tradition, is faced with not being able to play volleyball if she gets more than 25 percent of her tuition paid by someone else. So she, and apparently a lot of other students, may have to accept smaller scholarships if they want to play sports.
And the rule isn’t likely to stop the big football powers from bringing in a few talented football players from Indiana (Duece Finch) or local public schools (Jordan Whiting) to supplement their Catholic school pipeline. Don’t let anyone try to tell you it’s not done.
Teddy Gordon, the local attorney who argued against the JCPS racial guidelines, and won, at the U.S. Supreme Court, is taking on the case and suing the KHSAA. He should win this one, too.
The KHSAA must realize that it can’t have a one-rule-fits-all policy in order to stop the recruiting of high school athletes. Its best option — form an investigative arm to look at individual cases. Respond to complaints by actually taking a look at individual athletes, making sure they actually live where they say they do.
In fact, we’re told there’s a growing problem among JCPS high schools in which recruiters make sure certain basketball players end up playing at schools that hope to become local powers.
Investigate complaints. Hand out penalties. That’s what the NCAA does. On a smaller scale, the KHSAA could do it too.