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Don’t Blame the Players

So today is the day.  The day that the Vela basketball team finds out its fate from the 31-6A district executive committee.


The Sabercats 21-3 could find themselves missing the playoffs if the committee decides that they should forfeit all the games that a player that was ineligible played in.


Whether you like Vela or dislike them it seems that one thing is often overlooked about the entire situation.  That situation is the kids.


I have to imagine that the player that was part of the infraction did not know he was going to cause this much harm to a team that had made it to the state semifinals the year before.


I have to imagine that the seniors who led this team thought it could all unravel much like it is.


The reputation of the program will take a hit.


Coach Lalo Rios who ultimately is the man who will take a bunch of the criticism is partially to blame, but the players that sacrificed time and effort shouldn’t be blamed for this.


I think blame should rest on the administration and the school board that has created a culture of lawlessness.


Having worked twelve great years in the district I love the kids and families, but I also know the dark side of what is occurring.


The district has allowed players to flip flop from one school to another with reckless abandon for years.


Ask any coach off the record and they’ll tell you that the district’s gerrymandered lines don’t truly mean anything.


Doesn’t matter the sport, nor the school, if you want to play, they’ll find a way.


So here we are, a couple hours away from a decision that could end the Vela players high school careers, or possibly allow them to continue.


The decision will be made by a number of schools that were trounced by Vela in the regular season, something that I doubt they forgot.


If the scenario plays out the way I wrote on Friday, PSJA Memorial will have to make a difficult decision that will put their basketball team in the playoffs and send the Sabercats either back home to lick their wounds and rebuild or to Austin to fight this in front of the state executive committee.



  1. Edward Tijerina

    February 14, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Good article. Nothing that an adult did or didn’t do can change the amount of effort and time these kids have given to the sport they love.

  2. RRGorena

    February 15, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Valley Haters…There is too much divide and destroy in the valley. Wake up Rio Grande Valley! State Championships is the only thing that matters! All the big cities bend the rules to win…why can’t the Valley have a powerhouse school with all of the best athletes and bring home a State Championship! It’s ridiculous…no one cares if a kids parent faked the address so they have a better chance of winning…who cares but inner school politics!

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