What Did Our Athletes Learn From The Recent Ineligibility Battle?


Now that the smoke has cleared, we are standing amid what is left. And we are perplexed.

On Friday, we ran a story on the front page about the aftermath of the girls basketball season. In the end, the Arizona Interscholastic Association declared that Rhea Cosay was eligible for the upcoming track and field season in Payson after proper paperwork was filed.

They also revealed that the "anonymous tip" they received, alerting them of Cosay's ineligibility a day before the Class 3A regional tournament was to begin, came from Payson parents.

Now that it's all over, with a few days to catch our breath and look back on what happened, we are left wondering. What good came out of this?

High school athletics are a training ground for our youth, a place to teach them life lessons they will carry into adulthood. What did they learn from this?

We aren't sure there was a positive lesson here. We believe our high school athletes saw adults at their worst, at their pettiest.

First, the timing was cruel.

Cosay was ruled ineligible because PHS administrators had not filed proper hardship guardianship papers for the Alchesay transfer. To clear up the problem was a simple matter of filling out paperwork.

Once the ineligibility was brought to light, it only took 10 days to get Cosay back into Payson High School athletics.

Had this issue been raised before the AIA earlier in the season, it would have been better for everyone and it wouldn't have turned into this painful, divisive chapter.

We don't know who knew about the ineligibility or when, but we have to ask. Did the parents report Cosay's ineligibility because they were looking out for the good of the team? Or were there other motives?

We are bringing this up, now that the emotions have settled a bit, to take a look at the way adults' behavior in this scenario may have impacted the life lessons learned by our children.

We are afraid they learned to distrust adults. We are afraid they learned that adults will use them for political gain.

Whether this lesson is perceived or real, it is the last thing we want our children to take away from a season on the basketball court.

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