Foxnews.com ran a story today about a 19 year old high school basketball player whose team may be forced to forfeit the 19 winning games he played in. The problem is, Bryan Delancy is not a United States citizen, and therefore ineligible for extracurricular activities if certain documents are not filed.
Education is considered a “right” which students cannot be denied. Extracurricular activities are not considered part of an education and can be denied. The Florida High School Athletic Association requires schools to file documentation on foreign students in order for them to be eligible to play. No documentation was ever filed and now the player has been declared ineligible to participate. The team – which made the playoffs – automatically forfeits all games in which Delancy participated.
Of course the usual suspects including the “Florida immigration Coalition” have helped to file appeals and lawsuits, stating that sports are a right just like education and cannot be denied. They have said irs not the jobs of schools or other organizations to be checking papers. “What’s next? Checking your papers at the basketball court?”
To this question, I say “Why not?”. Students not eligible – especially illegals – should not be taking advantage of anything in this country. Especially not athletic fields, scholarships, coaches, and athletic equipment.
The idea that sports are a right just like education and cannot be disqualified is absurd. If that is the case, why are schools allowed to drug test students and disqualify those who fail the tests? We don’t disqualify students who may be on drugs from math or English. Why do we have sports physicals and medical requirements in order to participate? When is the last time a student needed a doctors appointment to take a computer class? How about academic achievement (grade) minimums to continue playing sports? Finally, what about try-outs? Should we no longer be concerned with skills or having a winning team because sports are a right?
The facts are, both the school and the student student failed to complete requirements that were clearly outlined and defined far in advance of the season. Whether the student is illegal or not, whether this is a simple oversight or intentional deception, the student simply does not meet the requirements.. There is really no reason to involve politics in the matter it is a simple question of whether he played by the rules and should be allowed to participate. It’s kind of like the matter of illegal immigration, you are eithere in the country illegally – or not. Thre is no middle ground, and no basis for lawsuits and attempts to twist or ignore the law.