The Peterson Principle 2/13/12

When something happens like what happened at Muir this week you don’t know how to feel. You might feel anger that a 24-2 season and a league title are suddenly flushed down the toilet. You might feel empathy for the players that were eligible and worked hard all year to get the team to where it was. You might also feel surprise that the CIF could come down that harshly for the violations of one player.

But after reading the statement of Muir Principal Sheryl Orange, I just have questions. In the second paragraph she said that after being alerted by CIF, Muir administration investigated and determined that a player on the boys’ basketball team was not eligible to play because a valid change of residence could not be sufficiently established.

My question would be why did it take so long to determine that there wasn’t a valid change of address? Why wasn’t it determined before the season started… before the team went 24-2 and then suddenly had the rug pulled out from underneath them?

When the player walked on to the campus last year and said his intention was to transfer to Muir why wasn’t everything validated right then? Why did the administration wait until they were alerted by CIF?

Maybe there’s something I don’t know but what I do know is the CIF always keeps a close eye on transfers, especially these days. And the administration could have saved a bunch of high school basketball players, and an entire student body plenty of heartache, anger and despair by simply doing their due diligence.

Coach Gamal Smalley also issued a statement stating that he was saddened and hurt and that administrative errors were made. But I still don’t understand why a transfer, especially considering the talent of the player transferring, was not validated last year. It’s a lesson learned I guess…and a very painful one at that.    

With the violations, Pasadena’s steak of Pacific League titles remains intact. It was previously reported that the Bulldogs had won nine straight before this year but master statistician Corey “Corn Dog” Kwok dug out some research and nailed it down to seven straight before this year and now eight. Muir, under then coach Major Whitlock, swept Pasadena in 2004 and won the league title. I welcome any corrections.

The Bulldogs are joined by Pacific teams Crescenta Valley, Burbank and Glendale in the playoffs. Burbank and Glendale, both 6-8 in league, were considered dead and buried before yesterday’s news out of Muir.

Temple City and Rosemead were also down to their last breaths a mere two weeks ago but also won a couple of games down the stretch and slid into the post season. Temple City had someone smiling down on them. The Rams not only received an at large berth in the Rio Hondo, but they also got a home game Wednesday night against Los Altos. It probably won’t be quite as nice for Rosemead who gets to travel out to Torrance.

Why are MVL teams Rosemead and Gabrielino in Division 3AA, Arroyo in 3AAA and Mt. View in 3A? Making sense out of the CIF basketball playoff pairings is as difficult as figuring out where Jeremy Lin came from.

Give us some local matchups! The complaint in high school sports is that there isn’t enough money in the budget for equipment, gas, etc. So why does Alhambra have to drive out to Palmdale on Friday? If you’re a Moor parent are you really going to make it out to Palmdale on a Friday night after working all day?

I’m sure Maranatha Coach Tim Godley is thrilled about the bus ride out to Twentynine Palms…on a Wednesday no less. The Minutemen have to play a 7:00 pm game and then make the two hour trek back and get up and go to school the next day. Tell me how that fits into the budget.

The CIF might be making the right calls on transfers. I mean if there’s no address, there’s no address. But when it comes to the basketball divisions, they biffed it.

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at .

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