Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

Jaaron Stallworth, left, Alex Van Dyke, L.J. Reed and Eric Toles take a breather during Cosumnes Oaks’ practice Monday. With 15 consecutive victories, the fifth-ranked Wolfpack (16-1) has moved into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship picture. Stallworth is averaging 11.6 points, Van Dyke a team-leading 18.2, Reed 10.6 and Toles 10.2

Poll

Should Cosumnes Oaks have been ruled ineligible for the boys basketball playoffs because of transfer rules violations?

Leading Off: Were forfeits enough for Cosumnes Oaks?

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 - 10:41 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 - 6:40 am

It’s striking to look at The Bee’s boys high school basketball rankings each week and see Cosumnes Oaks near the top with more losses than wins.

Cosumnes Oaks’ record includes 16 losses by forfeit, the result of sanctions by the Sac-Joaquin Section after a Wolfpack player was found to be an “athletically motivated transfer,” a violation of CIF rules.

But other than those 16 forfeits (the number of games played by the ineligible player), the team has just one loss, and since being punished the Wolfpack has won every game it has played – 10 consecutive.

Because of how the section chooses its playoff teams (The Bee’s Joe Davidson described the system in Tuesday’s Hometown Report), Cosumnes Oaks, 11-16, qualifies for the postseason.

One wants to be pleased for the players who did nothing wrong, acknowledging that they overcame a nasty setback caused by others. But one also must acknowledge that the team as a whole was ruled to have run afoul of regulations, regardless of who associated with the team was involved.

So what is the point of pinning 16 extra losses on a team for breaking rules if it’s nothing more than window dressing? If this group of fine young athletes continues to play well, it could win section and NorCal championships. Conceivably, Cosumnes Oaks could compete for a state title.

Perhaps it is justice, but perhaps it also gives the message that Cosumnes Oaks’ violation was no big deal. If a championship banner is won, it will hang in the school’s gym with no asterisk, and those forfeits will be pretty much meaningless.

– Brian Blomster

bblomster@sacbee.com


Today’s poll

Should Cosumnes Oaks have been ruled ineligible for the boys basketball playoffs because of transfer rules violations?

• Yes

• No

Vote above, or go to www.sacbee.com/sports


Monday’s results

Do you think Michael Sam’s announcement that he’s gay will hurt him in the NFL draft?

• Yes, some teams don’t want the distraction: 59%

• No, if he’s good enough, it doesn’t matter: 41%

Total votes: 134



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