I would like to address some issues published in your Dec. 14 Sports Talk page. Specifically I would like to address the opinions offered by a letter-writer from Derby. I believe this individual to be seriously mistaken and I wish to respond on behalf of the coaches, students and parents of Catholic school athletes in regards to entrance into Section VI.
I am a licensed coach in three sports. In over 15 years of successful coaching I have directed both boys and girls teams at the modified, JV and varsity levels. I am a past member of a local suburban school district board of education. I know the facts.
Point 1: No Catholic school athlete is on an athletic scholarship. Pure and simple, financial assistance being offered to a Catholic school athlete is completely based on academics. That is why an entrance exam is given. Assistance is based on personal need, not ability to slam dunk.
Point 2: The attack is made that recruiting is hidden through falsely titled financial assistance. This does not exist. Actually, if there is a claim to be made, it is that each and every school district takes money from both the county and the state. This financial assistance is used to support the general student population in those districts. Could this mean that public school athletes receive financial assistance?
Point 3: There is nothing to catch the Catholic schools at except that they are trying to provide their student athletes with the same attention that a public school system does. Section VI already has in place processes to police its own members, and recently they were shored up through a more intense evaluation of eligibility on residency issues. Nothing new has to be created. What already exists is more than sufficient. The laws of the NYSPHSAA are also in place.
Point 4: As for being "duped," where in the world does that come from? No section that has Catholic school inclusion is involved in any recruiting battles.
DAVID J. HERWEG