I've gone after Texas high school football pretty hard for years. Primarily because it's corrupt and it's about the only way people can forget for a few hours that they live in Texas. But now the tables have turned.
The football team at Stockton's Franklin High School in California was banned Tuesday from playing any games until the 2010 season.
That's a somewhat harsh penalty. In fact, it's the harshest penalty The California Interscholastic Federation Sac-Joaquin Section's board of managers has ever handed out - and they have control over 182 schools.
So what exactly happened?
Franklin administrators and coaches allowed three ineligible football players from American Samoa to play in a game Friday against Tracy High. And let me make this clear - this was no mistake. The school KNEW these three players were ineligible before the game but let them play anyway. It takes balls to do something like that...and stupidity, sheer stupidity.
And it's not like this is the first time Franklin has done something sketchy. Not at all.
A section investigation found Franklin had committed 54 violations. The Sac-Joaquin section has accused Franklin coaches of using undue influence, improperly recruiting at least 10 teenagers from American Samoa since 2004 to play football. Among the accusations were that Franklin coaches paid for parents from American Samoa to fly to Stockton with their sons, and were put up in Stockton hotels just long enough to register their sons at the school.
Importing ringers all the way from American Samoa for a public high school football team? I never knew what a football hotbed American Samoa was. But anyway, let me just put this into perspective. American Samoa is closer to Australia than it is to the states. And the distance between American Samoa and Stockton is over 5,000 miles. Usually you just go a town or two over and steal some players from the rival high school.
Color me impressed Franklin High. You have officially put corrupt Texas high school football to shame.