The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) granted a waiver on Wednesday to allow Rainier Beach to play in a national tournament should it qualify by winning its remaining games and stay undefeated. Nalin Sood, president of the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association (WIBCA), spoke yesterday in opposition to that ruling. Today, the WIBCA released an official statement.
WIAA Decision Contradicts Its “Just Play Fair” Slogan
The Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association (WIBCA) Board is shocked and disappointed by the WIAA Executive Board’s decision to ignore its own regulations and grant a waiver to enable one high school team to play in a national tournament. Among others, this exception violates the following WIAA rules:
a) Coaching players out of season, during spring sports season.
b) Extending the number of games and length of season.
c) Playing in non-sanctioned tournaments.
d) Playing against non-sanctioned teams.
Mike Colbrese, executive director of the WIAA claims there is no advantage gained by coaching players an extra 10 days plus games in the spring. This is not true. There is an obvious advantage gained and to claim otherwise is ignorant and untrue.
Most disturbing and saddening is their implicit or explicit support for young people to be exploited for profit (including a $10,000 payment to WIAA). This is a mythical national title tournament created with the intent to profit off of young people and the game of basketball. WIBCA questions the motives behind the granted waiver.
With this disappointing unilateral decision, the credibility of ALL WIAA decisions comes into question. There is a democratic process in place to amend the rules which enables membership input to reflect a majority decision. This democratic process is intended as a checks and balance to ensure that care and concern is given to all institutions, stakeholders, and most importantly students. It helps guard against rash, impulsive, emotional, and reckless decisions. That process was pushed aside for a hearing via teleconference.
The WIAA is supposed to govern high school athletics in a fair and equitable manner for all. This unfortunate decision creates an even emptier ring to the WIAA slogan, “Just Play Fair”.