It’s been a rough couple of weeks for football here in the Kansas City Metro. Three schools have forfeited a total of 17 games that not only affected the individual team’s record and district standings but the points of dozens of teams in Missouri and even across the state line in Kansas.
Each school, Grandview, Lincoln College Prep and Park Hill South used a player that was deemed to be ineligible and had each of their records adjusted. Grandview and Lincoln Prep moved down in their district standings while Park Hill South’s spot remains unchanged.
Those are the facts, and it is disappointing that this has happened for those players who did nothing wrong but had wins on the field turned into losses in the record book.
The mistakes were made by adults and young people are suffering the consequences.
Simply put, we as adults need to do better. All of us. Journalists, coaches, administrators and parents. I started with journalists because I always believe you have to tend to your own house first.
When the first set of forfeits started with Grandview two weeks ago, plenty of people who either claim to be journalists or want to play journalists jumped on social media and made claims that games were forfeited because of multiple reasons and multiple players.
Neither was true. PrepsKC confirmed with the Missouri State High School Activities Association that it was one player, and it was self-reported. Those are the facts, confirmed both by the school district and MSHSAA. Anything else was not a fact and was in fact a rumor.
If you want to break news, you should live by the journalists' creed that it takes double confirmation for something to be reported. If you are foggy on the concept, I suggest watching All The President’s Men or Spotlight. Journalists need to do better.
People who work for schools need to also do better. We all make mistakes at our job but when it involves young people it raises the stakes. We are the adults, it’s time to do better.
Parents, we all can do better. Some of these mistakes are made because students are moving between districts to play sports. This isn’t everyone but sports aren’t the reason you attend a school. It also shouldn’t be the reason you attend college. While the sports scholarship seems like the easiest way to get help for school, the best way is good grades and good test scores.
All in all, we need to do better.