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Column: KSAC Strikes Out Again with Wednesday’s Vote

The KSAC struck out again Wednesday when it voted to move Clarion from the Small School Division to the Large School Division in football retroactive to the start of the school year.

After conference president Todd Amsler told Media in an Oct. 11 letter that the KSAC had nothing in its bylaws that would have moved Clarion from the Small to the Large School Division, the conference had no choice but to leave the Bobcats in the Small School Division for this season.

But the league didn’t see it that way.

Instead, in a 6-3 vote with one abstention Wednesday, the conference decided to validate what the league’s executive board didn’t have the power to do and send Clarion to the Large School Division.

What an awful message that sends the kids involved.

It basically tells the kids that hey it’s ok if you do something you aren’t supposed to do. Just go back later and make it legal. What a terrible message to send to young people.

If the conference had voted to move Clarion NEXT year, or if the conference had voted BEFORE this season to move Clarion, then I wouldn’t be writing this. Would it be dumb that a 10-team conference had 6-team division and a 4-team division? Sure. But at the end of the day, the proper protocol would have been followed.

But this? No way. No how. There is no court of law that would have thought this was the proper way to do this. Common sense dictates this was the wrong way to go about it. This vote basically is a cover-your-butt type of vote.

The only true solution would have been for the KSAC to come out Wednesday and say “look we messed up. We didn’t mean to. We just got caught up in some stuff and we messed it up. We are sorry.”

But that’s not what it did.

Instead, educators, the same educators who would expect the kids they educate to follow the rules and regulations, made up the rules and regulations as they went along. Instead of taking responsibility for a bad situation they created, they passed the buck and decided to back up the wrongful action of its executive board. That message is a terrible one. One that shouldn’t be stood for. It’s time for new leadership in the KSAC. Leadership that understands that rules are written for a reason. Leadership that understands that when it makes a mistake, it needs to admit to making a mistake. Leadership that isn’t afraid of saying, “we’re wrong”.

And the only way new leadership takes place is if people demand it.

Sure, this situation involved Clarion. So you might be saying, why does it matter? But who’s next? What decision will the KSAC make that hurts Clarion-Limestone or Keystone or Karns City or Punxsutawney or Union (or even Cranberry or Forest Area – who didn’t take part in this vote because they don’t sponsor football)? When that decision comes – and trust me, it will come because once you start down the slippery slope of making things up as they come along it will never stop – what leg will those schools have to stand on? None. And they will have none, because when asked to do the right thing, when asked to follow their own rules, they instead were more concerned about covering their butts or voting in their self-interest. Only Brookville and St. Marys at the end of the day did the right thing (sure Clarion voted against it too, but really, the Clarion administration should have abstained). They are the only ones who will have a leg to stand on if something that harms their student-athletes is passed on by the conference in the future.