17-year-old high school basketball player Derrick "Deejay" Brown's hardship transfer request was rejected by The California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section ("CIF"), according to rivals.yahoo.com. The CIF rejected his request to transfer to Thousand Oaks High School in California after it's coach, Richard Endres, took Brown under his own legal guardianship.
Although this situation looks suspect on the its face the facts of the case dictate that CIF should make an exception for Endres and Brown.
Back in 2009 Brown fell victim to domestic violence after his stepfather stabbed both him and his mother in the face. After his stepfather was sent to jail Brown spent one season playing basketball at the South Kent School in Connecticut, but then felt that he needed a change of scenery and decided to move to California.
In California Brown attended boarding school at Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, but was left with nowhere to attend school after the year finished.
That is when Endres came in. Endres, who saw Brown a struggling teen in need of help, did what he thought was the right thing to do. He brought Brown into his home and became his legal guardian. Now, because of this genuine act of kindness Brown is ineligible to play for Thousand Oaks high school and Coach Endres.
It's not like Endres was waiting around looking for the best player possible to drop into his lap and then reap the benefits of that teens basketball prowess in the form of additional wins. Instead, he was helping someone in need. Accordingly, he should be praised instead of punished.
What's more is Brown is being punished too. Often times teens that have a tough childhood resort to sports as an outlet to escape from the troubles of everyday life. By denying Brown's transfer request it denies his search for that escape, which may result in a life filled with mischief as opposed to one that looks to have promise despite Brown's tough upbringing.
In situations like these administrators should scrap the black letter law and just do what is right. I hope that the CIF takes a second to review its decision and eventually gets this one right.
What do you think?
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