Turning a blind eye

The FOX 5 I-Team released a story on Wednesday putting Allatoona’s athletic program in the crosshairs concerning two senior football players who are allegedly living out of district outside of Cobb County. The two were major factors in helping the Buccaneers capture their first-ever state title and Cobb’s first public school football championship in decades.

So, what if the two players really did live in Paulding County? Well that would make them ineligible to play at Allatoona and would put a scarlet letter next to the program’s 2015 state championship, if they were even allowed to keep it.

But let’s be honest: If the claims are true, would the Bucs really be the only team the state that has kids with questionable addresses playing football or any sport at the school they attend?

Give me a break.

Russell Halimon, a great well-spoken kid, is heading to Arizona as a 3-star running back while Juanyea Tarver is heading to Morehead State. You want me to believe that the whistle is being blown on these two guys, when there are other programs across the state with rosters chalk full of four and five-star guys, but I’m supposed to believe they all magically live and have grown up in the same area their entire lives?

I might not be a Mensa member, but I’m not stupid.

It’s not only in football either. Every sport has transfers and potentially shady movement, but why don’t they get the red flag thrown on them when they are loaded with D-I studs up and down their roster?

You can’t pick and choose who gets in trouble and who doesn’t. If you really wanted to turn over the rock on all these kids, surprise, surprise, you might not like what you find, but the GHSA and the public in general usually turns a blind eye because it’s something that can’t be controlled (even though the GHSA makes no logical effort at all).

The creepiest thing about this FOX 5 story is how they effectively were staking out and in my terminology, stalking these kids seeing when and where they leave each morning and who they were with.

Give me a break.

I know we all want a level playing field, I get that, but are we really going camp out outside of these kids’ houses and try to track their every movement? Anytime there is one false step, there’s got to be someone ready to pounce and point the finger and scream from the high hills.

Turn your attention to other programs before trying to damn a program with a 3-star player who got injured during the season as the culprit who needs to be crucified in the public’s eye along with a teammate going the FCS route. If you want something to sniff around, how about a Class AAAAAA school that is juiced up to the gills with high major football talent that has a couple allegations surrounding them and just had their head coach leave for the ACC? If there’s smoke, there might be fire, but what do I know? Someone get me Pete Carroll on the line please.

If all this stuff is really true with players not living in the district, can we take a second to step back and mull over who the ‘blame’ should be placed on?

It’s us as a society.

We want to see superstars. We want the best of the best. We want to win at all costs. So what if the rules are bent a little? People try to take shortcuts all the time in life. In sports, whether it be steroid use, scuffing baseballs, deflating footballs, everyone wants an edge because competitiveness is what drives the world.

If the allegations are true, I don’t condone the actions. But if we are going to fire off the guns at Allatoona, with only two players in doubt on an 89-man roster, let’s have a massive purge and cleanse the state of every questionable transfer especially at these powerhouse programs in all sports and see what we have left.



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