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Level playing field?

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Level playing field?

Post  The Edge on Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:46 pm

First let me start by congratulating BG and Trinty for making it to the finals. Both teams are talented, well coached, and play the game with heart. But I can't help but feel that not having to find talent from within a geographic boundry is a huge advantage. I'll use Trinity's backcourt as a case in point as I am not as familiar with the BG roster. Trinity lost their starting backcourt from last year to graduation and transfer. Instead of finding their replacement from within either their JV team or players from their varsity bench they are able to go out and plug-in two quality guards with varsity experience from out-of -town. I have no idea of the process that makes that happen. I do not know if they are actively recruited, what financial assistance if any is offered, or if their families simply decided that Trinity was a better educational fit for their child. Nor do I care with regard to this issue. It simply seems like an un-level playing field to me.
So I thought what about schools in the other divisions of NHIAA that are also of this ilk and how do they fair in their division. If you look at the teams in D1,D2,D4 finals (I don't think any D3 teams are in this category) out of a possible 12 teams 4 of them are not bound by georgraphy or 33% (BG,Trinity,Coe Brown,Derryfield). There are 8 schools in those 3 divisions of that type, the 4 in the finals, Bishop Brady, St Thomas, Concord Christian,Portsmouth Christian. So while they make up 33% of the teams in the final four thay only make up 13% of all the 60 teams in the 3 divisions. Haven't look at previous years to see if this a statistical anomaly but from experience can tell you that, at least in D1, BG and Trinity are perennial contenders (finalist in 2 of the last 3 years) while other schools will suffer through high and lows dependending on the talent within their geographic limits.

Everybody who reads this forum and my posts knows I have a connection to the Londonderry program, so your most likely thinking --just sour grapes from having their butts kicked by BG and Trinty constantly. I have to admit there is most likely some degree of truth to that. But I will also admit that both of them earned their spot in the finals on the court. Do I expect anything to change --- no. Just interested in others opinion on the subject. Is that not what a forum is for?

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  goldenbear on Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:58 pm

Just for your stats you can add pembroke to that list, I agree with you many wont,

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  TooClutch on Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:00 pm

I agree with you that it is an unfair advantage for those teams like Trinity and BG who benefit from transfers while other programs may have to wait for that star 5th grader to get to highschool and what might go unnoticed is that the schools who finally get their star 5th grader BG could sweep him away in a second then that other program has to wait on the next star player

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  JAF on Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:13 pm

Edge - a well written and thought provoking topic...

As a BG parent I can tell you we went there for the education. I live in Litchfield - it was an easy choice. My kids play sports and have benefitted by being at a D1 school. There are many student athletes at BG that have siblings or parents that also have a BG education. I get zero financial assistance. There are some at BG that do get it but only after submitting paperwork. Many of those families end up volunteering at bingo. Trinity is a dioscesan school and there assistance model is different - maybe someone else can tell you how it works.

I won't say "recruiting" doesn't happen but it's more "attracting"... Using the "R word" has negative connotations, but I also believe the only time it's an issue is when teams from these schools do well. No one complains when they lose. Call "us parents" defensive but we all make the decision to send our children there and fork over a good chunk of money to the school.

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  EBlessNHSP on Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:28 pm

Fine topic to discuss...better for the Bleachers though...moving it...continue to discuss.

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  goldenbear on Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:55 pm

That always confusion me when people say education at BG, they offer a less variety of classes, some of there teachers do not even have degrees in the subject area they teach.

I do think it offers a school with less issues, low Sped population, not much poverty which helps the learning environment a ton. Now if you go for religious issues then I can see that 100%, but you cant tell me you get a better education at BG than a Lononderry or Campbell if the student puts in the effort.

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  JAF on Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:04 pm

Goldenbear - I can tell you it's better hands down from my perspective and the perspective of the colleges my children have gone to. Don't turn the discussion into a rich vs poor argument.

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  The Edge on Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:34 pm

JAF - I hadn't considered the religious aspect of this. That makes sense. The D1 level of competition rings of a purely athletic decision which the NHIAA should have a problem with. As far it only being an issue when these teams do well, predominately they do do well. Maybe not championship final game well but certainly persistent contender well. Occasionally, they may be sub .500 but mostly top 8 caliber. trhis lack of geographic handcuff facilitates them always being contenders assuming they can "attract" quality players

Goldenbear - I don't agree with the rich vs. poor stance either. I know several families from Londonderry that have choosen other educational options and I wouldn't call any of them rich. Just willing to pay the price for what they consider a better education for their child.

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  The Observer on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:10 am

@goldenbear - you are right in the fact that the variety in the BG curriculum is not what it may be in some public schools, but the rigor and challenge at BG is ten-fold. BG does not have to deal with all the political issues in education allowing them to give students a more "full and comprehensive" education. In Texas, a school district/county banned schools from asking students to use "critical thinking", if BG were in this area they would not have to abide by that law.d

As for the recruiting question, I think it is an advantage to pull people in from other areas, but it is a disadvantage. Look at the school population size. BG has around 900 kids, so they should be in DII; a school like Pinkerton (which allows people out of district of attend), South, or North approach 2000 students. My point being bigger schools have a better chance of getting more athletes than BG or Trinity. That being said, this is the reason why they petition up in sports, because they pull from other areas. It is an attempt to create a level playing field.

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  JAF on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:20 am

Not sure I totally agree with the .500 aspect of your argument, but I do agree that sports that are popular, with good coaches, a good overall program, etc. will attract more athletes which in turn keeps the program functional and above .500. I don't think there's too many folks crying that BG's boys hockey program isn't "at the top" any more. The football team is set to see a downturn. Basketball has gone through peaks and valleys - they've been helped by the stream of athletes coming in from Merrimack. Lacrosse is perennially a power with a coach that has a strong "travel" program. Baseball goes through peaks and valleys. The question some may want to ask is "why" athletes leave their town to go to BG (or other such schools)? Is the town education that bad? Or perhaps the sports programs/coaches? Everyone has different reasons. One interesting dynamic that you have to think about for BG - for the most part these kids don't play together in their towns through youth leagues and travel leagues. Some sports are better with that dynamic in place - building team chemistry is difficult. Just look at the BG basketball team last year - good players, but the chemistry just wasn't there. In order to "win" a championship - it's still the coach's task to build that chemistry. Some are better than others. Some towns have tremendous talent, but the coach's ability is questioned (hence why some kids leave and come to BG).

From a purely athletic side of the house...

BG "plays up" in their sports. So if you have a student/athlete that you think/believe will play at the next level, then if your choice is D2/D3/D4 (etc) school vs. D1 school, then that choice is easy. HOWEVER, your athlete had better be a student - there's a test to get in and the homework load isn't exactly light. What it does do is prepare you for the next level where as a college athlete it's like having a full time job with respect to the commitment necessary for the sport and that doesn't include your classwork. Sure D2/D3 colleges have less of a load, but it's still a lot. Unless you are a special athlete that gets a D1 opportunity, I'd say most kids in NH would be D2/D3 athletes. If you go D1, as they say the sport "owns you" - that is it's a full time job all year around as opposed to primarily in "your season" for D2/D3.

Gbear - none of this says it cannot be done at public high school. I don't disagree that with the effort - it's all the same. A smart student athlete at a public or private school is the same - they will do well. If you consider athletes strive to compete and you compare the competition in the classroom between private and public schools, then for me it's a no brainer. Some kids come to BG and get their first B ever after getting all A's... Most cannot believe the homework load. But those that go off to college all come back and say BG prepared them for the college load. Many also talk of the effort the English dept puts in making them better writers as an absolute key for success at college. My middle son spent much of his freshman year helping his peers with their papers. All that makes it worth it to me for the last 7 years making sacrifices of stuff I want in order to pay that damn tuition bill.

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  The Edge on Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:49 pm

JAF - my focus is on basketball with regard to the advantage of no geography enabling persistent contenders. The other sports require more capable players. Basketball only requires a 7 deep talent pool. Even then only 3 or 4 need to be skilled basketball players who can handle the ball, score the ball, and pass. The others need to be good athletes that can play solid D, rebound, set screens and contribute to scoring occasionally. But I do agree that Coach Migs would be an attraction. His switch to that 3/4 court zone trap won that game. As far as transferring to play D1, I still believe that that would be for athletic purposes only. So if I can't do it between public schools in NHIAA why should I be able to do it to BG/Trinity. Now I am also not foolish enough to think that anybody positions it that way. But I do recall a BG girl that tried to transfer from North and was ineligible because the North principle would not sign off on it not being for athletic purposes. feel your pain on the tuition bill, my daughter goes to Bentley.

Just don't buy that playing up compensates for the advantage. At least not in terms of basketball.

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Lacrosse is perennially a power with a coach that has a strong "travel" program

Post  Newman on Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:25 pm

BG doesn't have to recruit. Their coach runs one of the best, if not the best showcase programs in New England.
Parents that get their kids involved as an eleven year old I'm sure consider BG as an educational option down the road if lacrosse is a sport their child plans on playing in and beyond high school. Towns that have strong youth programs will challenge from time to time, i.e. Hanover or Derry, but BG is always there.

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  JAF on Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:09 pm

The Edge wrote:. feel your pain on the tuition bill, my daughter goes to Bentley.

Just don't buy that playing up compensates for the advantage. At least not in terms of basketball.

Not sure you want my tuition bills Very Happy Tufts (year 4), Muhlenberg (year 2), and BG (year 3)...

If BG didn't play up they'd probably win their "right sized" division more often than not. The athletic dept understands their advantage and thus ensures players get better competition for the majority of games as opposed to just trouncing their opponents. If they lose, oh well. There are some sports they just don't do well in, but they stay where they are. Don't seem to remember BG asking to go back down in recent years in any sport. Biggest complaint is they didn't play up far enough in football.

I don't disagree with you that they have an advantage of having teams with depth, but skill/depth still doesn't guarantee winning; otherwise, they'd win it every year. Just like school size doesn't predicate wins; otherwise, Pinkerton would be champs in every sport.

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  The Edge on Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:31 pm

How about this propsal to level the playing field;

Transfer in as a sophmore --- JV for the season
Transfer in as a Junior --- Your choice JV for the season or ineligble for varsity for the first 1/3 of the season.
Transfer in a a senior --- ineligble for the first 1/2 of the season.

This gives prospective students and families their freshman and sophmore years to decide if the private school education is right for them while not allowing the varsity roster to be refreshed via outside talent without at least some degree of ineligibilty.




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Leveling the playing field

Post  NHBballFan20 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:31 pm

I'm a little late here because I don't usually read the Bleacher forum but Coe Brown is bounded by a geographic region. When I went there, they took in students from many towns but now they only take students from 4 towns, Barrington, Strafford, Nottingham and Northwood. I believe they have a couple students from Deerfield every now and then but thats it. So I don't think adding them into that category is accurate. They do not accept students from any part of the state like the other schools that you have mentioned.

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  JAF on Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:13 am

The Edge wrote:How about this propsal to level the playing field;

Transfer in as a sophmore --- JV for the season
Transfer in as a Junior --- Your choice JV for the season or ineligble for varsity for the first 1/3 of the season.
Transfer in a a senior --- ineligble for the first 1/2 of the season.

This gives prospective students and families their freshman and sophmore years to decide if the private school education is right for them while not allowing the varsity roster to be refreshed via outside talent without at least some degree of ineligibilty.

First off if you remember the Paige Parkinson case - the sending school has to "sign off" on the eligibility waiver. In some darker corners of the girls basketball world it was believed that Nashua North made a competitive decision to not sign the waiver - is that right of them? Who's to say. Who did it hurt credibility wise more? North or BG? Was the athlete unfairly singled out due to policy - is that right/fair?

Second, I don't believe transfer as a senior is allowed per NHIAA eligibility bylaws. Someone doing that is obviously not changing schools for academic reasons...

While I understand your premise/concern - are you doing right by the athlete? Theoretically speaking the transfer is supposed to be for academic reasons and while we can all wink, wink agree that's not always/generally the case, it still has to be the working assumption. Suspect

Let's say it's not though. How do you "special case" an athlete who sees the writing on the wall with regard to competition at their specific position or some sort of coaching situation that just isn't right. Ask Merrimack football players/parents about that second one. There's a reason why there was a large contingent at BG (read GNG's frequent postings). What if you're an athlete at a skill position (QB, goalie, catcher/pitcher, etc.) and you want to play your sport in college, but also realize that your position either already has a better or more liked (yes, that still happens) player at your position. If you look at your options while an underclassman and realize that perhaps going to a private school will allow you to play at your position while also getting a better education (in some peoples eyes), then wouldn't you want to do that? Maybe that private school has a coach connected with colleges (like Tojo is/was), so by going you better your chances for college. How/Why do you fault or restrict anyone looking out for their best interest (player and parent)?

I'm not sure your proposal levels the playing field. It just restricts the choice for a specific set of students, athletes. Does it really matter to you that much that students/parents make that choice? If they are making for athletic reasons, do you then question your own athletic coaches? Do you nod perhaps that sure, the athlete is going to the private school because the coach is better than where they came from? Are there instances perhaps where you know of an athlete on a team where you wonder why that athlete is starting or getting more minutes than someone you perhaps think is better? Perhaps that athlete is "connected"? Maybe the parent has coached and "runs" the off-season program for that team and that's the payback. Is that right? Do you think it could influence someone else to say - well I don't want my child getting screwed, so I'll take my chances elsewhere.

The point is - there are many reasons why someone would transfer for athletic reasons - in the end - who really cares? Who is it hurting? What chances is that athlete taking by leaving the "comfort zone" of friends and kids they've played with from grade school up? Life's not always fair and why is it so important that things are "level"?

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  The Edge on Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:38 pm

I do not care what the motivating factor was for the transfer and I am painfully aware of life not being fair/level. But shouldn't all teams that compete in a league not play by the same set of parameters? What if the patriots could only draft or sign players that went to new england colleges? While the rest of the league did not have that restriction. How competitive would they be? My only position is that , especially in basketball, it is a huge advantage. This will be my last entry on this thread as this is a dead horse.

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Level Playing Field?

Post  NHRamFan on Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:54 am

"First off if you remember the Paige Parkinson case - the sending school has to "sign off" on the eligibility waiver. In some darker corners of the girls basketball world it was believed that Nashua North made a competitive decision to not sign the waiver - is that right of them? Who's to say. Who did it hurt credibility wise more? North or BG? Was the athlete unfairly singled out due to policy - is that right/fair?

Second, I don't believe transfer as a senior is allowed per NHIAA eligibility bylaws. Someone doing that is obviously not changing schools for academic reasons... "

JAF

JAF - looks like a little revisionist history regarding your first point. North's decision was not based in denying a competitive advantage; rather their AD was told outright by the player's parent that he was taking his child to BG to play hoops! They were backed into a corner. Someone had done the unthinkable - they told the truth!

Regarding your second point, there is no NHIAA bylaw allowing a senior transfer. Some schools (I know BG is one) will NOT allow a transfer in for senior year. The feeling is that the diploma from BG must be earned, and one year doesn't cut it. Recent examples that I can cite without thinking too hard:
Jillian Gilman transferred from John Stark to Trinity after her Jr HS season. While techinically a little more than one year...it was one athletic season. There was also a female hoops player (name escapes me) who played her Soph yr at Hillsboro Deering; her Jr year at Trinity; and her Sr year at Hopkinton. I'm sure other forum member have examples....

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Re: Level playing field?

Post  JAF on Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:19 pm


Interesting about the SR transfer - my opinion still stands as to why someone would transfer.

As for Paige - IIRC she was a Freshman at the time - maybe there more issues than present on the surface. But I'm not speculating Smile I know zero about the situation other than what I've read here and the Telegraph.


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