Well, you knew it was coming. After months and months of bad press, and with sanctions handed down by the DIAA. Red Lion Christian Academy has decided to jump into the pool feet-first. The school has announced it wants to become just an associate member of DIAA so it can recruit athletes and offer them athletic scholarships in football and boys basketball.
Let me first make an admission. I am an evangelical Christian, and as such, I probably agree with Red Lion Christian Academy's theology, at least for the most part. But the current move by the school to me is outrageous.
This is a high school. It's purpose is to educate young men and women in a Christian setting, with the likelihood that most of them will go on to college. But the idea of offering athletic scholarships, and recruiting athletes at the high school level is insanity. It has nothing to do with the school's mission.
That is not to say that the school shouldn't have athletics. I believe organized sports are not only good for the body but also teach many outstanding life lessons (from winning AND losing). But RLCA obviously has a different idea in mind. And it all stems from 8th grade quarterback David Sills V and his father, who wants top-notch teammates for his son, who has already been oferred a college scholarship to USC (more insanity).
When the school indicated a few days ago it would petition the DIAA to become an associated member in football and boys basketball so it could recruit and award scholarships, it made clear what the school had been doing all along (no surprise to many). After getting a slap on the wrist last fall, the powers that be decided to bring it above the table. I don't think anyone is surpised when last year's state runner-up basketball team had three key players from the Virgin Islands.
I thought what Bobby Jacobs did with his Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament was bad a number of years ago...treating high school athletes like they were professionals. This, to me, is even worse.
RLCA wants to play a "national" schedule. For what reason? Is that spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ? Or is it pandering to the interests of certain families in the school by stroking egos that are too big for the state of Delaware?
If the DIAA grants the school its wish, it should also rule that no in-state school will be permitted to play any RLCA athletic team.
Unfortunately recruiting has been going in Delaware at a number of schools for quite a while. While no one will acknowledge it, at least Red Lion's move is a move toward transparency, whether they would agree or not. Let's hope high school athletics can return to its roots...as a good thing for kids. Amazingly, colleges were able to find athletes in the old days, under the old rules. I think they still can.
Posted at 11:28am on May 18, 2011 by Big Don Voltz
Big Don, You said it well. If I were a parent paying that pricy tution, I'd be even more upset. The leadership of that church and school have sold out what should be their beliefs for the money and prestige that being a big school in sports brings. What happened to their primary mission, or at least what should be their primary mission of making disciples for Christ and educating the students. This so totally wrong.
The leadership of that church should be stepping in, and if they don't, then they are a part of it, and that would be a deal breaker for me where I'd be hunting for another church to worship the Lord.
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