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- Written by Andy Wooldridge (CCCougarfan)
- Published on May 1, 2007
- Hits: 8021
During the 5A State Tournament, there were tensions between the Roosevelt Roughriders and their down-state opponents, including Mt. View, but particularly involving their Midwestern League opponents, Churchill, and in the title game, North Eugene.
Subsequently, the tensions and confrontations prompted the OSAA to commission an independent investigation by a retired Judge, the Honorable Mary J. Deits.
Attached is the full text of the investigation report, which will be discussed further at the next meeting of the OSAA Executive Board on May 7th.
Warning, the report necessarily contains references to racially and emotionally charged language that may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.
The report is also rather lengthy reading.
The incidents also highlight both the pluses and minuses of redistricting. Roosevelt was one of the beneficiaries of the expanded playoff opportunities that redistricting brought. That meant a school population with limited recent success got to experience the intense emotional experience that a run to a championship game always produces. That's usually considered a plus.
But it also means school populations that have limited experience with such situations must face them. And the same was true of the expanded staffing needed to manage the increased number of tournaments. That was something of a minus this time.
The incidents were unfortunate, but still provided a service to all involved, as the playoff experience always does. Every season, teams and schools from diverse backgrounds face the challenges these differences inevitably produce. Sometimes, the challenges are about officiating styles and out of town travel. Sometimes, the challenges are more significant. But even when the challenges are of a more serious nature, the playoff setting provides the opportunity to experience, and learn from, issues that will have to be faced sooner or later.
Notably, no players were found to be a part of the problem. And the general public is not, and cannot be, totally controlled by the administration of schools that those members of the public live near or attend.
The report, and the incident, also highlighted the shortcomings of MacArther Court, and its lack of parking and crowd management capabilities. Which is a consideration not only the OSAA, but also all of those responsible for school activities, need to seriously address when planning events. Or problems with managing large crowds will certainly happen again.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the matter is that so many were apparently surprised by the events that unfolded.
The fact that there were surprised (and subsequently upset) people at a common practice involving the introduction of teams is an indication of a lack of awareness. And while certainly disapointing, and politically undesirable, the remarks that ensued on both "sides" might also have been anticipated.
If you wish to weigh in on the matter, drop me a line.