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Business Ethics and Youth Basketball

Original post made by Referee, Danville, on Nov 23, 2009

A few months ago the Pleasanton community experienced an extreme uproar over the Amador Valley H.S. varsity coach’s involvement with an AAU basketball team. The community discussion eventually ran its course on the Pleasanton Weekly Town Square Forum. Now the usually civil Danville community is facing a similar uproar over its local basketball programs with nearly an exact set of circumstances as that of the Pleasanton community. However, the Danville situation is a bit more involved because the managing director of a high priced youth basketball development company in town is not only the JV basketball coach at Monte Vista High School, and the 8th grade St. Isidore A team basketball coach, but as well has both the varsity and freshmen Monte Vista High School basketball coaches on his company’s coaching payroll. Understanding that high schools despite CIF regulation to the contrary commonly involve themselves with AAU or quasi-AAU basketball teams for the purposes of recruitment and training, the question for our Danville community though is how involved should a high school or local basketball development company involve themselves with each other until it is considered crossing the line and unethical? Please keep your remarks civil, polite, and constructive and please do not use personal names to identify individuals. I believe that this is an important topic for the community to face and discuss in the Danville Express/Town Square Forum. Thank you in advance for your well-developed thoughts and opinions.

Comments (55)

Posted by cdt1947b
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Nov 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm

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Youth sports in our community have a reputation at times for being extremely “political”. However, in my opinion the word “political” as utilized in describing our youth sports’ structure is nothing more than a euphemism for the word CORRUPT. How political are our sports programs, it really depends on the sport, position, and age in which you are speaking. The simple difference of an over zealous little league “daddy coach" protecting his youngster for a coveted infield position, or perhaps promoting his undersized child on the basketball court at the point guard position, to that of an intermediate youth vying for a skilled high school football position such as freshmen quarterback. As you approach high school, where the stakes are higher, the political games and corrupt personal behavior begin looming much larger. Money and influence peddling are a part of the game in protecting or promoting some young athletes in our community. It is a sad, but real situation parents of truly talented children must contend, especially in our community where money is not always the limiting factor.

Posted by redhead
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on Nov 24, 2009 at 5:35 pm

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Hold on, it does not need to be as complicated or deceitful as described; sometimes it is a simple as one collective group of fathers assisting one another in the rotating sport seasons of the year. One coach takes care of certain group of kids during soccer season, and the another coach takes care of these same kids during baseball or basketball season, etc. Basically, insecure clannish behavior.

Posted by seyhey24
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Nov 25, 2009 at 6:48 pm

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Sports in local communities across our country as we all well know have changed and taken on new forms in the decades since many of us as children have last participated. Although many organizations and leagues will go out of their way to state that they are not-for-profit entities, upon closer examination many are in fact are supporting the livelihoods of a handful of individuals (e.g., Mustang Soccer, Sportstrong Basketball, etc.). For instance, the Sportstrong basketball website clearly states that the program is not affiliated with any school program and that they are a not-for-profit organization. However, the Sportstrong managing director is the JV Monte Vista basketball coach, and the organization employs the Monte Vista H.S. varsity and freshmen coach (appears to be a quite strong affiliation with Monte Vista H.S.). Additionally, the Sportstrong managing director is the St. Isidore 8th grade A team basketball coach. The Sportstrong company has approx. 250 participants which generates upwards of $500k annually based on their published rate structure (of course there is no profit when the annual proceeds of the organization go to the coaches). The point is that youth sports no longer clearly follows the strict and simple volunteer structure it once did, but has since become big business in many local communities. Yes, it is not always fair, some kids or groups are at times neglected, but that is the reprecussion of business. Nuff said.

Posted by coolheadluke
a resident of Diablo
on Nov 26, 2009 at 10:31 am

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The term “business ethics” is an oxymoron. Our recent national financial scandal demonstrates that unbridled business without regulation in the pursuit of profit understands no ethical boundaries. On the local Danville scene, not-for-profit sporting enterprises will operate on much the same principle unless checked by local groups such as our schools or churches. In the case of the Sportstrong matter, after our community’s “uproar”, the MVHS varsity coach went incognito with his relations to Sportstrong, and his personal name was quickly removed from the Sportstrong website. However, we all know and understand that Sportstrong manages and operates a high school AAU team with the MVHS varsity basketball coach called “RED & BLACK”. We all know and understand that St. Isidore’s two 8th grade A-level basketball teams are comprised of 80-90% MVHS prospects, and that the MVHS varsity coach was present at the St. Isidore try-out evaluations. At minimum, there is at least a perceived conflict-of-interest at hand. Such sporting companies as they begin to monopolize the community can of course charge much more exorbitant pricing because they become the perceived “gatekeeper” in youth sport development and advancement. The business man merely desires maximum profit, the parents quite understanably desire maximum advancement for their children. The school district could limit a coach’s involvement with “not-for-profit” sport organizations via CIF code, but are too busy, and besides the CIF is made up of high school principals such as the late Becky Smith at Monte Vista H.S. who was also in fact the Northern California Section CIF president-elect. The St. Isidore church pastor although aware of the situation states CYO is not affiliated with the local church and is a separate entity. Therefore the great Pontius Pilate once again washes his hands of the matter, and status quo reigns master.

Posted by bakedgoldfish
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm

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Is it a business? Is it a "non-profit"? or Is it a way to supplement income for you and your coaches? Summer "Red & Black" camp costs over $500. Where does that money go? Sportstrong helps coordinate the web-site and sign-ups for the camp? Sporststrongs' CEO has a son that gets paid several hundred dollars for working the camp? Coaches are at early morning workouts 3 mornings a week "supervising" off-season practices where offensive plays are implemented. Each of the Monte Vista Assistants "volunteer" to coach several of the youth teams for Sportstrong and are paid out of a non-profit.....Coach Powers himself coaches the 8th grade SportsStrong team himself so he can hand-pick his freshman players. Ask a parent, how much do they pay during the year for "Red & Black", where does all that money go? Who audits the non-profit? It's a known fact, if you don't pay-to-play for Sportstrong (which is Red & Black), you cannot play for the Mustangs and Coach Powers.

Posted by MikeMacp57
a resident of Montair Elementary School
on Nov 27, 2009 at 5:50 pm

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I will second that conclusion...8th grade St. Isidore try-outs were a complete waste of time for serious basketball players not associated with Sportstrong...not only did MVHS/Sportstrong control the 8th grade try-outs these jokers have hijacked the the entire St. Isidore CYO basketball with the infiltration of volunteer Sportstrong coaches.

St. Isidore Church should be ashamed. A sham has now become a shame.

Posted by mustangmartha
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 27, 2009 at 6:52 pm

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Not sure about the 8th grade tryouts, but do know SportsStrong is the code-name for Monte Vista basketball off season basketball program. SportsStrong now includes all the MV coaches on their payroll from Freshman through Varsity. If you are not playing for SportsStrong and supporting Powers part-time paycheck, or the JV Coach's supplemental income (head of SportsStrong), you cannot play for the Mustangs. Not sure how CIF let's this go on, but from this first comment, have now figured it out with the MV administration. St. Isadore's has sold out out to support this effort with it's CYO program, and any parents thinking of putting their kids through St Isadore's cyo program must support SportStrong. There is more wrong about what's going on MV basketball right now, but I'm guessing just like the numerous issues with the administration, that his will be kept to quiet hush. Heaven forbid to attempt to play multiple sports at MV now, as if you can't participate in SportsStrong in the "off-season", pay incredible fee's to support the coaches supplemental income, and attend those early morning so called workouts, there really isn't a chance to be a mustang basketball player. What's even worse is that it impacts kids. As for the $$'s that are running through these collectively programs, it's sad to believe that a church would affiliate itself with such activities. I agree, a sham has now become a shame.

Posted by stephanos
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Nov 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm

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Sportstrong in good conscience should exit from their much too heavy involvement in the local Catholic churches such as St.Isidore, St. Perpetua, and Christ the King (no doubt a serious conflict of interest).

Posted by KarenGreenbrook
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Nov 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm

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I would not expect the Catholic church to take on any higher ground than Sportstrong on the issue of fairness in their youth basketball programs.

Both institutions although they claim not-for-profit status operate with the profit motive in mind, otherwise they would not be in business today!

What individual or group at St. Isidore in their right mind thought inviting Sportstrong to coach an A-level basketball team at a church program was a good idea?

Let me see the raise of hands!

Posted by O'Henry
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Dec 2, 2009 at 7:12 pm

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Personally, I don’t expect anything less out of MVHS (nothing ever surprises me) as the high school pushes the envelope in all areas, some good, and some obviously bad such as stepping well past ethical lines.

Having the director of a local private basketball development company (SportsStrong) manage your high school junior varsity team definitely SCREAMS serious conflict of interest!

Having the director of a local private basketball development company (SportStrong)manage your 8th grade A team church basketball program definitely SCREAMS serious conflict of interest!

Sorry to see a CYO program openly sacrifice their integrity for a amped-up basketball program which now of course poorly reflects upon the St. Isidore parish.

The inmates certainly control the asylum, and the warden must be completely deaf, dumb and blind.

Posted by Boilermaker
a resident of Danville
on Dec 3, 2009 at 8:56 am

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My son has played CYO basketball(his coaches were NOT affiliated with Monte Vista) and played in the Sportstrong league(his coaches WERE affiliated with Monte Vista), and we are parishioners of St. Isidore Catholic Church. I base my opinions on personal, first hand observations, and not on hearsay statements of others. The Monte Vista coaches who ran Sportstrong were fantastic, and did a much better job than the CYO coaches who were not affiliated with Monte Vista. The Monte Vista coaches not only taught my son great basketball skills, but more importantly taught him great life lessons skills, like the value of integrity, being a good teammate, and used positive reinforcement to teach those values. As parents, we want quality people as teachers and coaches for our children, and that is exactly what the Monte Vista coaches were. Remember, it was these same Monte Vista coaches, who after losing a heartbreaking game to an Oakland team, organzied a fundraiser so the Oakland team could afford to travel and stay in Sacramento for their championship game. That was a fantastic, christian thing to do, and as a parishioner of St. Isidore, I am proud of them. There is no conflict of interest in having quality people work with our youth before high school, whether in CYO or Sportstrong. There is no "shakedown" by them, that you have to play Sportstrong or CYO for them to play at Monte Vista. In fact, most of the Sportstrong boys will not even play varsity basketball, or will play at another school, like De La Salle, or Doughtery Valley. Danville is blessed to have these quality people work with their children, whether in CYO, Sportstrong, or in high school. I think the negative comments are coming from parents of SRV, and have more to do with excuses as to why the Monte Vista program has been so much more successful recently than SRV, than any alleged ethical program.

Posted by See
a resident of another community
on Dec 4, 2009 at 8:52 am

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It is interesting that an individual is talking about ethics, yet does not know the SportStrong philosophy. The SportStrong basketball program also was not started by anyone associated with now or ever has been with the Monte Vista High School program. Although the JV coach at Monte Vista started the Sportstrong Youth Foundation to raise money for locl club programs to help sponsor financial assistance to those in need of aid, the basketball program is very much a separate entity. The club has been in operation for 8 years, the past four it merged with the foundation but is run separately my myself. I have 27 coaches involved, and fortunate to have 5 that coach or assist at the local high school. I cannot speak highly enough of the staff and their excellent job of mentoring and coching the kids. The JV coach at Monte Vista volunteers his services and does not take a penny. I have volunteered my services to my community for over 30 years and continue to do so. Currently over 76% of sportstrong players do not live in Danville nor will attend Monte Vista and 98% of the kids in the sportstrong program participate in CYO with the encouragement of the staff. The vast majority of the coaching staff at SportStrong has coached for years in the CYO program as well at various high schools in the east bay. To offer kids the opportunity to receive excellent coaching and mentoring, whether at the CYO level or at the club level, I view as a positive.
Sincerely, David See -SportStrong Director

Posted by Boilermaker
a resident of Danville
on Dec 4, 2009 at 9:09 am

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Thank you, Coach See, for the factual information you shared. I believe the Danville Weekly owes Sportstrong and the Monte Vista coaches an apology, for stirring up a non-issue, not accurately stating the facts, and not contacting Sportstrong before doing their hatchet job. As I noted, my son had a fantastic experience in Sportstrong, and his coaches(who were also Monte Vista coaches) did an outstanding job.

Posted by RSchmidt
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 8, 2009 at 6:28 pm

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Of course actual enrolled MVHS students represent an extremely small percentage of Sportstrong’s overall demographic clientele. First of all Sportstrong is primarily a preparatory basketball program targeting both boys and girls of various talent between the ages of 3rd and 8th grade (~ 25 teams). Additionally, Sportstrong serves other youth basketball communities outside of the Danville area. Therefore one would reasonably expect the number or percentage of high school students, let alone the number of specifically enrolled MVHS students served by Sportstrong to be extremely low in comparison to their overall demographics.

Sportstrong does though indeed have two high school basketball teams, one called “Red & Black,” and the other called Sportstrong JV. Would any reasonable thinking individual venture to guess the percentage of MVHS students on the “Red & Black” high school team, or the Sportstrong JV team? Or for that fact even the number of MVHS prospects on the St. Isidore/Sportstrong 8th CYO A team?

You need not be a rocket scientist to uncover this conflict of interest.

Posted by Danville Comment
a resident of Danville
on Dec 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Danville Comment is a registered user.

The Christian thing to do. Really! Keep in mind, McClymonds did not request nor start any fundraiser of their own, let alone request the Monte Vista parent fundraiser that collected $1,100 to assist these “poor inner-city kids” who had just beaten their supposedly fundamentally sound suburban Sportstrong/MVHS basketball team in the NCS semi-finals. Furthermore, this unprovoked “gift of generosity” which was quickly publicized in the regional newspapers, also communicated the aftermath which was that McClymonds was so insulted by this so-called “kind financial gesture” they turned-down and snubbed the MVHS donation. Tell me, were these “poor inner-city kids” who had been participating in bay area basketball leagues and tournaments for many, many years, so poor they could not afford to put gas in their tank for a straightforward car ride to Sacramento and the state basketball championship. I would advise that you think more fully about this supposedly Christian deed with non-malignant intention.

Posted by Boilermaker
a resident of Danville
on Dec 9, 2009 at 8:04 pm

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Danville Comment: You attack the Monte Vista coaches for raising money to help an Oakland team that noted in the newspaper they could not afford to stay overnight in a hotel room for the championship game? With so much evil in the world, with no many depressing newspaper headlines, you actually took the time to attack some high school coaches for raising money to help a school send their players to an out of town basketball game? Wow! We are blessed to have these Monte Vista coaches in our community, and I appreciate their Christian spirit in helping others, and I hope they continue to be involved in the CYO program at my church, St. Isidore.

Posted by SportsMom
a resident of John Baldwin Elementary School
on Dec 10, 2009 at 9:06 am

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As a parent of a SRVHS Freshman basketball player who played 6 years of St. Joan of Arc CYO (not St. Isidore, and not the A team) and 3 years of SportStrong, I would like to speak out in strong support of the SportStrong program, and in particular the coaches who are so unfairly having their images dragged through the mud above. What a shame that people are unable to see the good in what these men have given to youth basketball in our community!

Yes, they are coaching in three different arenas which often overlap - high school, CYO and a quasi-AAU program, but they are doing so for the love of the game, the desire to provide as many opportunities for our youth to develop their basketball skills, and to give our boys and girls the opportunity to do their best in a sport that they love.

My son had no 'political' motivation to participate in the SportStrong program, as we are an SRVHS family and will never attend Monte Vista. We chose to have him participate because of the strength of the coaching staff and the positive and supportive environment created in SportStrong. The SportStrong coaches(Monte Vista and non-Monte Vista alike) do the best job around developing skills, strategy, teamwork and knowledge of the game - perfect for a kid with a deep love of the game and a desire to play basketball for more than just the CYO season.

It is a fantastic program to prepare our youth for high school basketball, if that is what is desired, but many, many of the players never go on to even try out for high school basketball. An equally large number of players go on to play for other (rival) high schools, and with the FULL support and enthusiasm of the SportStrong coaches.

During my son's SRV tryouts, the director of SportStrong checked in regularly, supporting and encouraging him through the process. When my son made the team, this gentleman could not have been more sincerely excited for my son. And when asked about his SportStrong experience, my son said "it was the building block that helped him reach his goal of making the SRV team".

Thank you, SportStrong, for all that you do for our youth, and I hope that each of you is able to continue with ALL of your wonderful coaching - in SportStrong, CYO and high school - with the appreciation that you deserve. I, for one, am extremely grateful for all that you give to our community.

Posted by Danville Comment
a resident of Danville
on Dec 12, 2009 at 10:55 am

Danville Comment is a registered user.

Dear SportsMom,

Thank you for your well thought out comments regarding the SportStrong organization. I am truly glad to hear of your positive experiences with SportStrong as I believe our community certainly needs a local youth basketball development company such as SportStrong in order to successfully compete in the Tri-Valley region.

As you mention SportStrong is indeed coaching in three different areas which often overlap – high school, CYO, and quasi-AAU programs. However to state that they are instructing our youth merely for the love of the game is a bit naïve when a 12 week basketball session costs $600 per player, not to mention other SportStrong sponsored revenue generating camps and clinics. But, even still, if the SportStrong coaches were indeed teaching our youth with only the highest of intentions in mind and merely for the love of the game, the California Interscholastic Federation still has a series of regulations to prevent this type of overlap from occurring. Monte Vista High School and the SportStrong organization are fully aware of these regulations, especially CIF 510, but they also realize enforcement of CIF code through the NCS is extremely weak and in the end only penalizes the player, not the school.

However, the issue raised by this Danville Town Square forum is not the degree or level of competency of the SportsStrong coaches in question, but rather or whether these coaches are indeed violating California Interscholastic Federation code, and have designed a conflict-of-interest arrangement which needs to be severed.

At the St. Raymond CYO parish in Dublin just south of St. Joan’s (David Lynch) CYO parish, the athletic director of their basketball program is Paul Le Claire, the president of the Eastbay Bulldogs AAU basketball program with coaching ties to California High School. If the SportStrong director were Catholic, surely he would be vying for the St. Isidore athletic director position as well, so instead he does the next best thing possible, he becomes the St. Isidore 8th grade A-level basketball team head coach.

Thank you though for your well expressed thoughts, and good luck to your son at SRV.

Posted by danville comment
a resident of Danville
on Dec 12, 2009 at 12:48 pm

danville comment is a registered user.




A.) The essential elements of character building and ethics in CIF sports are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles; trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these “six pillars of character.”

B.) It’s the duty of School Boards, superintendents, school administrators, parents and school sports leadership—including coaches, athletic administrators, program directors and game officials—to promote sportsmanship and foster good character by teaching, enforcing, advocating and modeling these “six pillars of character.”

C.) Schools that offer athletic programs must safeguard the integrity of their programs. Commercial relations should be continually monitored to ensure against inappropriate exploitation of the schools name or reputation. There should be no undue interference or influence of commercial interests. In addition, sports programs must be prudent, avoiding undue financial dependency on particular companies or sponsors.

D.) All participants in high school sports must consistently demonstrate and demand scrupulous integrity and observe and enforce the spirit as well as the letter of the rules.


Examples of Pre-Enrollment Contact:

1) A student returns to a school of attendance after transferring away from the school (e.g., returns to previous school).

2) Potential athlete attends open gym or open field and then transfers to the school hosting the open gym or open field.

3) Student shows up at a school that the student is interested in attending and speaks to a coach, athlete, athletic director, administrator or any other school personnel.

4) Prior to enrollment at School A the student plays in an athletic contests with students at School A.

5) Prior to enrollment at School A the student is coached by a parent, coach, teacher or any other person associated* (*See Bylaw 510) with School A.

6) A potential athlete communicates with the coach of a school prior to enrollment.

7) A student participates in a shadow visit and meets with potential coaches to discuss the specific athletic program.

Entire NCS/CIF Constitution available at:
Web Link

Posted by pianoman
a resident of Danville
on Dec 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm

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Welcome to the SportStrong party! You have just paid your $600 quarterly basketball dues. Next line of business, your $50.00 SportStrong basketball uniform will cost you $110.00.

Even alturism has a price.

Posted by popcorn
a resident of Danville
on Dec 14, 2009 at 8:18 am

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Clearly Sportstong is a business, and yes there goal is to make a profit for there business, not unlike most every other business. Does this mean that the end goal of coaching is tainted. I read all the complaints, well if you are so upset, no one is forcing you to pay or play. So if you do not like how things are run you can start your own club and see how much it actually costs to rent gyms,join leagues etc... not to mention the time it takes to attend practices, games and so on... much like an actual job. CIF regulations? let us report every High School in the State, as just about 99% of all high school coaches have an outside program (anyone look at De La Salle).

Posted by Uncle
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Dec 19, 2009 at 7:07 pm

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There is clearly a conflict of interest when a "coaching service" is in a position to recommend placement of their clientele on local teams. If the kids/subscribers do not make the team, then what does that say about the coaching/mentoring service's success? This could certainly sway the judgment calls required when assigning positions/playing time.
Conversely, non-subscribers then have to overcome more hurdles since the number of "entitled" players/subscribers may have already filled the available openings.
Tony Soprano would be impressed...
Even if there is no conscious wrong doing, it is natural for team leaders to show preference to kids with whom they have worked previously. Unless we want to see a continuing degradation of sports ethics, every effort to avoid this type of questionable behavior should be taken.

Posted by NutcrackerSuite
a resident of Danville
on Dec 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm

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Yes, you know, and I know, and most of the Danville basketball community knows that SportStrong is clearly operated as a business although it is financially managed as a registered public charity or foundation (EIN# 81-0656586) under Internal Revenue Code 501 (c) 3. However, the IRS has strict relationship, organizational, operational, and control requirements which allow SportStrong to be eligible for exemption from federal income tax. Frequently, letters of determination issued by the IRS are either suspended or revoked.

The SportStrong organization’s primary federal tax exemption purpose as stated verbatim on their IRS Tax Exempt Form 990 (Open to Public Inspection) signed by treasurer Thea Almendralejo-Vassallo reads:

*** Scholarships are paid to various athletic programs which include MVP Flight, Colt 45, EJ Sports, and others to either provide or assist youth in participating in athletics. The purpose of the non profit is to teach good sportsmanship, respect of parents and coaches, a strong work ethic and commitment to team. ***

Total SportStrong scholarships awarded in 2007 according to IRS Form 990 amounted to $3,250 with no sport scholarships listed in 2008, but here is the kicker $86,000 for coaches, $11,295 for professional coaching services, and just for good measure $13,415 in T&E expenses. Oh, by the way uniform costs were $24,209.

The 2007 listed $3,250 SportStrong total sport scholarship donation would not even cover the annual cost for just one youth player in either the EJ Sports or Colt 45 baseball organization.

Overstated expenses and understated revenue?

Yes, you are right, no one forces you pay or to play SportStrong, but there is a group of talented and interested ballplayers that want to play high school basketball but also understand that you must “pay-to-play” in our community. Can you say, “shakedown”?

Funny, the SportStrong website does not mention David A. Goldman as the CEO & President of the SportStrong Youth Sports Foundation and as well the Monte Vista High School junior varsity basketball coach. Overlooked, I guess.

We don’t need the CIF, we urgently need RICO Act enforcement.

Posted by Mouse
a resident of Danville
on Dec 20, 2009 at 8:11 pm

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After taking the time to carefully read each and every posting on this forum, I would agree that a conflict of interest in MVHS’s basketball program does exist, whether real or perceived. Obviously, the MVHS junior varsity basketball coach has been placed in an awkward position where at minimum an apparent conflict of interest is evident.

Furthering this thought, district hiring protocol states that any SRVUSD faculty or staff member interested in the basketball coaching position should obtain precedent over a walk-on coach, no matter how qualified.

Therefore the MVHS principal should be making every constructive effort especially during the off-season to identify and locate internal school district candidates willing to replace the walk-on basketball coach.

However, in my review of 2009-10 SRVUSD job listings for coaching positions I did not identify or locate a posting for the open MVHS junior varsity head coach basketball position. It appears to me that MVHS administration is not sincerely interested in following hiring protocol.

Posted by baseball dude
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 22, 2009 at 7:08 pm

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A couple of years back the head junior varsity baseball coach "Scooter" Torres at California High School was removed from his coaching position mid-season for much, much less.

6. All head coaches/assistant coaches shall complete an Affidavit of Outside (Non-School Related) Activities prior to the beginning of each school year or prior to assuming coaching responsibilities if they apply for positions after the start of the school year. The Affidavit will include a disclosure of every potential conflict of interest, including coaching students of the same age and eligibility at the club, community, or AAU level, recruiting for compensation by any camp, college, program or other organization or other such conflict which could result in the appearance of impropriety. Additionally, coaches and assistant coaches will immediately complete an Outside Contact (Non-School Related) Reporting Form (see addendum CIF 207/209/510) when athletes from their non-school interests enroll in the school.

This example might help guide MVHS in interpreting not only the letter of the coaching regulation, but the spirit as well.

"Scooter" was eventually booted from Cal High based on some type of ridiculous paper-work technicality.

Posted by Boilermaker
a resident of Danville
on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Boilermaker is a registered user.

It is absolutely ridiculous the way people have attacked the MVHS Head JV coach. If you review all the comments, there is not one single negative comment from any parent whose son he has actually coached, whether in Sportstrong, or at MVHS. He was my son's coach in Sportstrong, and he was a fantastic coach. MVHS is very lucky to have him. He is a quality person, and quality coach.

Posted by orwell
a resident of Danville
on Dec 24, 2009 at 12:33 pm

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Although the MVHS JV head coach may be a quality person and a quality coach apparently he has done something to upset a few people in this community. More than likely some parents are extremely upset over his team roster decisions. Thus they are able to utilize a spurious conflict-of-interest allegation charge to upset the school’s athletic applecart. Poor ol’ coach, however if the conflict-of-interest allegations are true, poor young innocent boys!

Personally, I think it is best for the coach to stick within his own youth development basketball company and forgo the high school and cyo “gratis” work. There are ways for him to remain connected, and it is probably better for the school and church, anyway.

Posted by Aseop
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Dec 27, 2009 at 1:03 pm

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Not only should preference and effort be given to a school district faculty or staff member over a walk-on basketball coach, but as athletic director Craig Bergman well knows, the walk-on JV basketball coach at MVHS is required to be a certified ASEP coach, although a one-time sport season waiver may be provided, in this particular case the walk-on JV basketball coach has more than exhausted his interscholastic coaching waiver.

The school is obligated to self-report this violation within five days to the California Interscholastic Federation (NCS).

Web Link

ASEP National Registry:
Web Link

Posted by Aseop
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Dec 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm

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First violation reported by school, consequences not so bad. Second violation includes "lack of administrative control" penalties. Third violation, Head Varsity Coach disqualified from any section or state championship post-season competition.

Best to 'fess up!

Web Link

Posted by MustangMartha
a resident of Blackhawk
on Dec 29, 2009 at 10:05 am

MustangMartha is a registered user.

All interesting comments - the specifics above around Coaches payments, travel & expenses, professional coaching services, "uniforms" and details around school hiring practices are "facts". The real question left is will CIF, CYO, Monte Vista School Administration, Monte Vista Athletic Department, or San Ramon Valley School System do ANYTHING about it. There is a great deal of money flowing through this program, with very little accountability or oversight. Time to see if we have real leaders that will take action.

Posted by Levy
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Dec 29, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Levy is a registered user.

Boilermaker: He does not walk on water.

JV coach might be spread a bit too thin, MV high school coaching commitment, Sportstrong obligations, and St. Isidore CYO A-team coach, all at the same time. Last season his St. Isidore CYO A-team crashed and burned on and off the court. Coach yelled at several CYO players frequently enough that one player decided to quit the team altogether, and vowed that he would never play organized basketball ever again. Furthermore, many players opted out for other sport commitments during the CYO basketball season, leaving the coach, high and dry.

This season avoiding last year’s fiasco, coach decided to bring on only MVP Flight and Sportstrong players to his St. Isidore 8th grade A-team. Full control over his players, but he must have pissed off a few St. Isidore families in the process.

Just ask an involved CYO parent.

Posted by Honest Abe
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Honest Abe is a registered user.

Sportstrong CEO is not entirely to blame for the situation. The St. Izzy athletic director coaxed the Sportstrong CEO through a simple and attractive quid pro quo arrangement. The athletic director made room for the Sportstrong CEO to become the new St. Izzy CYO A-team coach in exchange for full consideration of his 5’2” son becoming the starting freshmen point guard. Just watch and see.

Posted by Johanne
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 30, 2009 at 9:55 am

Johanne is a registered user.

Joan would be turning in her grave had she not been burnt at the stake!

St. Izzy by no means has the complete monopoly on corrupt basketball practices.

Same type of issues surround our 8th grade CYO A-team.

Posted by tarddee
a resident of Danville
on Jan 25, 2010 at 12:51 am

tarddee is a registered user.

The concept of middle school student-athlete “red-shirting” by over-zealous parents is not exactly an entirely new concept in the field of sports competition. The term middle school student-athlete “red-shirting” makes reference to the parents that purposely decide to persuade their child to repeat a middle school grade such as the 8th grade for reasons other than academic, specifically for purposes of improving relative athletic prowess. That is providing additional time for their child to develop athletically becoming bigger, faster and stronger relative to their “peers” in anticipation of their upcoming high school sports participation.

This less than honorable "competitive” concept is as old as time, in fact TIME magazine reported on the rising middle school student-athlete “red-shirt” phenomenon in a 1981 article nearly thirty years ago.

Web Link

Simply take the case of Toby Gerhart, the all-time leading football rusher in California state high school history. Toby Gerhart finished with an almost incomprehensible 9,662 yards at Norco high school located near Riverside, breaking the previous state record by more than 1,000 yards. Toby played four years on the Norco high school varsity team under his father, head coach Todd Gerhart.

Toby was also 19 years old as a high school senior.

Interestingly, his parents wanted Toby to repeat the sixth grade for supposed “social reasons.” When the school district refused to allow Toby to repeat the grade – by the way, an exemplary student who finished high school as valedictorian with a 4.67 grade-point average, and was accepted to Stanford University – his parents transferred him to the local christian school and enrolled Toby in the sixth grade again.

As we all know now, Stanford star running back Toby Gerhart finished a close second in the 2009-10 Heisman Trophy voting 28 votes behind Mark Ingram from Alabama, and although Toby did not complete college (12 units short) and still has an additional year of athletic eligibility at Stanford (he was red-shirted as a college freshman), decided to enter into the NFL draft for the upcoming professional football season.

Toby would have been 24 years old in his final year of athletic eligibility at Stanford University, time to start making a living, I suppose, but what about those 12 units?

Don’t you know, everything I ever needed to know about life was learned in the sixth grade!

Posted by YardBird
a resident of Danville
on Jan 28, 2010 at 6:24 am

YardBird is a registered user.

The most common practice of “red-shirting” student-athletes by parents in this community is performed simply by delaying Johnny’s initial entry into kindergarten. Through this low-profile maneuver little social stigma is attached to the decision compared to the potentially significant social and psychological ramifications of holding back the same child during his middle school years.

Posted by Jose(ph)
a resident of Danville
on Jan 28, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Jose(ph) is a registered user.

“Red-shirting” your kindergartener may be a common practice to confer athletic advantage, but it is certainly not the most effective or most durable method. Delayed kindergarten entry generally provides only for a larger and more mature youngster at the start of schooling. Furthermore, the athletic advantage derived from delayed kindergarten entry may or may not manifest itself entirely as long-term competitive advantage lasting through the middle and high school years. However, “red-shirting” the same student-athlete as a maturing adolescent, after his eighth grade school year provides much more immediate, effective, and impactful results. The retained eighth grade student-athlete not only benefits from “playing-up” during his entire elementary and middle school years, but he is now in position to assimilate more physical and mental learning during his more advanced repeated grade level. Just as the student-athlete was set to enter high school, he now repeats the eighth grade, gaining further confidence as he “plays-down” against his new high school level competition. The student-athlete also has the additional repeated school year to grow bigger, faster, and stronger as he prepares for delayed high school competition.

Unfortunately, one potential and serious drawback in retaining an eighth grade student-athlete, delaying high school competition is that public awareness and scrutiny are much more keen than at kindergarten.

Looks like Todd Gerhart certainly got it right when managing his own son’s football career, compromising between the kindergarten and eighth grade holdback, he decided to “red-shirt” his son in the sixth grade at a local Christian school.

Toby Gerhart's additional freshman "red-shirt" year at Stanford University probably didn't hurt, either.

Posted by Validte
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2010 at 11:55 am

Validte is a registered user.

Parents who are willing to place athletic development above academic performance for their child must indeed take care of all the “funny business” prior to high school competition. Once their child becomes enrolled in high school, the NFHS and CIF have strict eligibility regulation; there is absolutely no “red-shirting” allowed in high school as the student-athlete is now eligible to compete only over the next eight consecutive semesters or four years (i.e., no medical or academic excuses such as flunking are accepted).

Posted by ladybuggaga
a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2010 at 8:45 pm

ladybuggaga is a registered user.

Validte: Not entirely true.

Many school districts across the country do in fact have written eligibility regulation concerning their student-athlete repeating a middle school grade. For instance, even our large metropolitan CIF – San Francisco Section specifically states in their bylaws:


A student may be eligible for athletic competition only during a period of time that is not to exceed six consecutive semesters following the student’s initial enrollment in the sixth grade of any school, and any athletic eligibility that a student may receive must be used during the first six consecutive semesters following the student’s enrollment in sixth grade. A student may receive a waiver from being charged with one or more semesters of attendance where the student has been absent from school due to one of the hardship reasons set out in Bylaws, Part 2, Sections 16 and 17.

Web Link

Posted by ladybuggaga
a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2010 at 8:59 pm

ladybuggaga is a registered user.

Validte: Again, not entirely true!

Nearly all of our community sport organizations base initial enrollment eligibility upon age limitations and not upon some arbitrary school grade. So there would not necessarily be any relative competitive advantage in holding your child back in kindergarten solely for athletic development purposes vis-à-vis his/her school grade peers.

Little League Baseball – age/skill based enrollment
Mustang Soccer – age/skill based enrollment
T-Bird football – age/skill based enrollment
AAU club sport teams – age/skill based enrollment
CYO basketball – school grade

So exactly where is the advantage in holding back your child in kindergarten?

Posted by bunker
a resident of Danville
on Feb 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm

bunker is a registered user.

Either method, delayed kindergarten entry or middle school hold back ensures the child will be another year older when s/he enters high school. Most parents opt for delayed kindergarten entry because a middle school hold back can develop emotional and psychological repercussions, even if the hold back is for purely athletic reasons.

What exactly is the parent attempting to teach the child at such an impressionable age, that “cheating” for competitive advantage is okay? If all parents suddenly decided to hold back their children one full school year there would not be any advantage for anyone.

The practice of holding back middle schoolers is certainly on the rise in California, the bay area, in fact many supposedly “elite” athletes in our own local community are held back during middle school strictly for athletic developmental purposes.

Names are available.

Posted by bunker
a resident of Danville
on Feb 2, 2010 at 11:46 pm

bunker is a registered user.

The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) also known as the “Crooked Youth Organization” or the “Corrupt Youth Organization” has a range of well managed and not so well managed CYO dioceses across the country.

Unfortunately, there is not any CYO national governing uniformity, thus allowing CYO bylaws to drastically vary from diocese to diocese across the country. For instance the Oakland diocese has a one page rag-tag sheet of basketball rules and regulations posted on their website, while the Harrisburg CYO diocese has a 27 page well-written and thoroughly thought-out CYO basketball bylaw manual posted on their website. Furthermore, the Harrisburg CYO basketball bylaw manual certainly would not allow a youth basketball player to repeat a middle school grade and then still be eligible for that same repeated basketball grade level, but the Oakland CYO diocese would.


SECTION 2. Grade Level
Participants must be in the eighth grade or lower. A participant who is repeating the
eighth grade is not eligible to participate. (See Section 8—Period of Participation)

Web Link
Web Link

In fact, the Oakland CYO basketball diocese not only would allow this same “repeat” eighth grader who has been held back in school to play Oakland diocese CYO eighth grade basketball again, but it would also allow this same “repeat” eighth grader to be upwards of 15 ½ years old while repeating eighth grade CYO basketball.

While this Oakland CYO diocese eighth grade age limitation might not sound overly ridiculous to everyone, please keep in mind that the Oakland CYO diocese age limitation rules would also allow a CYO basketball player in the 3rd grade to be nearly 10 ½ years during his or her basketball season.

Web Link

Good grief!

Posted by Ageis
a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Ageis is a registered user.

All this talk about the absurd CYO 8th grade age limitations for youth basketball eligibility, got me thinking about "poor" Danny Almonte, the once famous, but now infamous little league world series baseball pitcher from a few years back. Yes, he was only 14 years old, just two years older than his competition, but that was enpugh and made all the difference in the world until he was caught by a private detective.

Danny Almonte is now nothing more than a washed-up wanna-be pitcher, not too much unlike the once "spectacular" MLS soccer star Freddy Adu from Africa who falsified his birth certificate upon emigrating from Ghana.

For those interested in Danny Almonte and the 15 greatest cheats in sports history, check out the web link below.

Web Link

Interesting and humorous reading!

Posted by RuleBender
a resident of Danville
on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:37 am

RuleBender is a registered user.

Pushing out the envelope or exploiting age/grade limitations is not a new phenomenom, but it is becoming a much more common occurrence in our local youth sports community. In fact this past CYO basketball season, the St. Isidore 8th grade A-level basketball team utilized a high school “red-shirt” player repeating the eighth grade at St. Isidore Catholic School to play on their team. Although there were comments made, there was not much fuss about the placement by competing teams, primarily because the St. Isidore A-team did not win league, and the “red-shirted” player is known to be much more a football player, than a basketball player.

Posted by RuleBenderTwo
a resident of Danville
on Feb 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm

RuleBenderTwo is a registered user.

Not only are age/grade limitations being severely stretched at the 8th grade St. Isidore CYO basketball program, so are their geographic parish boundaries. It is widely believed that their top scoring “big man” in the competitive basketball division is commuting from the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel.

Posted by setrecordstr8
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm

setrecordstr8 is a registered user.

The 8th grade Sportstrong “big man” recruit in question in the above posting now playing on Goldman’s St. Isidore CYO 8th grade A-team did originally play for both the Rising Sun asian basketball league and the Christ the King CYO basketball program in Pleasant Hill last season. Unfortunately, the family had lost their American Canyon, CA home last year due to a foreclosure, and therefore did not have a permanent domicile.

However the family is now renting a Danville home outside the Blackhawk/Bettencourt gates. Therefore the St. Isidore 8th grade basketball player in question was indeed inside the St. Isidore parish boundaries this basketball season. Thus the 8th grade St. Isidore CYO A-team legitimately fair and square beat the St. Joan A-team this afternoon for the 8th grade A division CYO league championship title.

Congratulations to St. Isidore!

Posted by popcorn
a resident of Danville
on Mar 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm

popcorn is a registered user.

The parents of this young man would like to clarify some statments indicated in this Blog. The family moved to Danville in August 2009, they lived in American Canyon prior to that. There home was never Foreclosed on (it was sold), The decision to move was based on a desire to move to an area with a stronger academic program, as well as a better and more established Sports program. They currently reside in Danville and plan on having there Children attend MVHS next year. The decision to attend MVHS was based on the aforementioned factors and not because he was recruited. The family considered other school districts and settled here as the family had friends who were already established in this area. Both there kids are good students and the parents stress academics over all else and have said that doing well in school will always far outweigh any participation in Sports. There son did play on the Rising Suns for a year, but never played for CTK. He did play in there CYO Tournament in 2008. He also played for a CTK coach through Sportstong one year when he was in 6th grade (he played for a 7th grade team.) This was also the first year he played for Sportstong. He and his sister have remained with Sportstong, as both kids enjoy the playing for the organization (and love the coaching). By all accounts (ask any of his coaches) this is a very nice young man who loves the game of basketball. Both parents hope that this will settle and issues regarding there son, as he has done nothing inappropriate, it is also there hopes that people will no longer feel the need to bring there son or any other young person into the issue without first checking facts. Thanks

Posted by aegis
a resident of Danville
on Mar 2, 2010 at 5:47 am

aegis is a registered user.

BUY 480 / 383 original
SELL 415 / 650 Aegis re-fi

Do the math, the facts be told, more than a few boys have been injured in our community by selfish, self-interested basketball coaches.

Posted by Justin Case
a resident of Danville
on Apr 9, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Justin Case is a registered user.

Short memories.

Does not anyone recall the Hercules High School basketball coach who resigned several years ago under a cloud of questionable high school recruiting suspicions? Mark Oliver was not only the coach of Hercules HS but the coach of the high profile AAU basketball team, Oakland Soldiers, who have produced over the years such players as Leon Powe, Theo Robertson, Ayinde Ubika, as well as Drew Gooden, Eddie House, and many others.

Rumors ran rampant that Olivier recruited after ten basketball players transferred to his high school team over a two season period from other schools, a charge he denied vehemently.

When two-time first-team all-Bay Area forward Tim Pierce, also a member of Olivier's Oakland Soldier squad, transferred over the summer during his senior year, his previous school, Fremont of Oakland, challenged his eligibility on grounds of recruiting.

The North Coast Section held a hearing on the matter and placed all Hercules' sports programs on two year probation, ruling Mark Olivier had indeed "undue influence."

Hercules HS Athletcic Diredctor Stephen Pegg stated after Oliver’s reluctant resignation, quote:

"If you're going to coach AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball, you're not going to be allowed to coach at the high school level."

Little have we learned.

Posted by Sam Good
a resident of Danville
on Apr 11, 2010 at 9:08 am

Sam Good is a registered user.

I recall Tim "T-Time" Pierce from Oakland, his transfer to Hercules HS from Fremont of Oakland did stir up a quite a fuss at the time, as he was a dominant player capable of scoring 50 plus points per game. Obviously, birth certificates and addresses carry little significance to some basketball coaches playing in competitive areas.

Anyway he went on to play one year at Arizona State, before transferring and finishing his college career at San Jose State.

Tim now plays in the SF pro-am league for the South Bay Spartans, along with Chris McNealy from San Ramon High School.

Posted by Slapped Silly
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Slapped Silly is a registered user.

After McClymonds High School from Oakland beat Monte Vista High School in the 2009 men’s championship basketball game for the NorCal title last season, and after McClymonds clearly and politely REFUSED Monte Vista’s collective parental donation of $1,100 to assist the Warriors in their car ride journey to Sacramento, CA to ensure that this supposed “underprivileged team” could indeed attend the state championship game, Monte Vista High School quite cleverly continued to get additional mileage from this alleged “genuine” act of generosity.

Keep in mind, this was the third straight trip to Sacramento, CA (Arco Arena) for the state title in as many years for McClymonds High School. Additionally, McClymonds boasts such notable sports alumni as Bill Russell, Frank Robinson, Curt Flood, and powerful political figures such as former Oakland mayor Lionel Wilson, and current Oakland mayor, Ron Dellums, etc.

Now for the rest of the story…subsequent to this unsolicited act that was refused by McClymonds High School, Monte Vista head basketball coach Bill Powers still continued to unwaveringly accept and receive an honor from the National Sportsmanship Award Ceremony in St. Louis, MO in late November at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel to recognize his efforts in raising donation money from MV team parents that was in actuality rebuffed by McClymonds High School.

Furthermore, if this was not enough pomp and circumstance to celebrate an unsolicited gesture that was actually refused, two months later, in late January 2010 Monte Vista head coach Bill Powers once again accepted an honor bestowed upon him by the CIF-NCS Board of Managers through the presentation of a special plaque of recognition from the NCS Values and Ethics Chair for the unsolicited donation refused by McClymonds (unphanthomable logic).

Here though is the real rub…former Monte Vista High School principal Becky Smith, who has had her own previous issues with school fund misappropriation complaints in the past, and who was eventually released from her principal position at Monte Vista late last year is still in fact President Elect of CIF-NCS.

An interesting co-operative dynamic at work here! The high school that claims Becky Smith as President Elect of CIF-NCS also secures two special sports recognition awards for their school although upon a faulty and misleading basis.

Knowing all of this…I am just glad to see that the donation money raised by Monte Vista head coach Bill Powers for the “underprivileged” McClymonds’ basketball team actually went to some good use, which resulted in personal travel and accommodation expenses for the MV head coach to accept and receive an award of recognition from the National Sportsman Award Ceremony in St. Louis, MO for an unsolicited donation actually refused by the intended designated beneficiary.

Web Link

Keep up the good work coach!

Posted by jorge
a resident of Danville
on Apr 26, 2010 at 8:38 am

jorge is a registered user.

Reminds me of the old Stanford football games against the San Jose State Spartans with their end-of-game chant,before Stanford had a winning football team:

Hey,'s'll work for us.

Posted by mvmustangs62
a resident of Danville
on Apr 26, 2010 at 9:40 pm

mvmustangs62 is a registered user.

Please don’t blame the MV team parents who had noble intention, as the whole whirlwind situation was very much a big misunderstanding from the beginning.

It all started when McClymonds did not want to provide hotel accommodations for their basketball team before and after the state championship basketball game, which started at 8:00pm on a Saturday night at Arco Arena in Sacramento. In retrospect, it is now understandable why McClymonds did not see fit to initially provide hotel accommodations for their basketball team before the game given that the playing venue was less than 90 miles, and 90 minutes away from Oakland by car.

Basically, a home game for the McClymonds’ Warriors from Oakland, in comparison to their competition that night, the Westchester Comets (LA) who had to travel nearly 400 miles, or 6 hours by car.

Anyway it now seems comprehensible why McClymonds would also initially believe that hotel accommodations after the basketball game would neither be necessary nor appropriate for their basketball team, given that Sacramento is less than 90 minutes away, with the scheduled basketball game to be over well before 10:00pm.

Consider the school’s position, McClymonds would be responsible for their basketball team and their families inside a hotel on a Saturday night after a big state championship game. Even at that the pre-game festivities got out of hand when the Mack House drum corps continued to beat their drums extremely loud during the entire national anthem.

Thus it appears the McClymonds basketball team and their families wanted to receive some posh treatment for their big title game (i.e., hotel accommodations before and after their game, including room service with meals, etc.) for basically a home game, albeit the state championship.

Too bad! McClymonds got off to a slow start and played much too soft against Westchester (LA) who actually came to play basketball that evening. McClymonds finished the game 10 for 49 from the floor, an embarrassing 20 percent team shooting percentage.

Certainly not the fault of Monte Vista team parents who had nothing but noble intention.

Posted by MVbbFAN2011
a resident of Blackhawk
on Dec 28, 2010 at 10:28 pm

MVbbFAN2011 is a registered user.

Monte Vista scores again for the 2010-2011 season.

This time Oakland resident and pro-Oakland business advocate, sells Oakland home and Oakland business prior to EBAL basketball season moving within the gates of Blackhawk. Freshman son is now eligible to attend local high school starting as the school’s point guard. One of the top point guard prospects in the bay area, playing previously for the premier North Coast Express Hoopsters basketball team out of Alameda/Oakland to which both parents were board members.

A tremendous addition to the program.

Posted by Leatherball
a resident of Stone Valley Middle School
on Jan 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Leatherball is a registered user.

High school recruiting goes public.

Private high schools are not the only schools that utilize (undue) influence or “recruit” top athletes to win league, section, and state championships, some extremely competitive public high schools in our area do as well.

The means: guaranteed starting position, playing time, playing up, mvp tournament awards, student/athlete college support, etc.

Posted by Leatherball
a resident of Stone Valley Middle School
on Jan 5, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Leatherball is a registered user.

Lingering problems remain in the Pleasanton community with regards to a series of previous season high school basketball player personnel issues, involving the coaches, especially between Foothill HS and Amador Valley HS.

The NCS/CIF must be deaf, dunb, and blind.

Web Link

Sounds awfully familiar (comment board seems to have gone full circle with absolutely nothing learned): ------>>>>

Favoring certain high school basketball players over other more than qualified participants is a fairly common coaching peccadillo, sometimes simply through sheer innocence, other times driven by financial booster considerations. However, there have been EBAL coaches who simply discourage the development of certain players due to community grudges. Last season for example, a tremendously skilled Foothill H.S. basketball player was purposely played out of his normal playing position by his head coach along with having his playing time significantly reduced. This point guard was not only top-rated in the bay area, but was also nationally recognized. His father a longtime successful Pleasanton AAU basketball coach seemingly upset a few families along the way. After his son’s discouraging experience at Foothill last season as a freshman, he was forced by circumstances to transfer his son to another high school in order to obtain fair accommodation. Strangely enough, his son is now a starting point guard on the varsity team, playing as sophomore, for the cross-town rival. Doesn’t make much sense, but vocal boosters with misguided intentions can indeed have improper input on high school programs in our area.


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