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Means told the kid to go get a physical that day, which he did, and passed. Then she notified the conference of the clerical error.
"We thought they'd look at these extraordinary circumstances and use discretion," Stubrud recalls. "I mean, it's not like we were trying to fudge the rules. This happened the very week Terry died."
But instead, the conference--without allowing Archbishop Murphy a formal defense--made the Wildcats forfeit every game they'd played after the physical expired and kicked the team out of the playoffs. Worse, that ruling was rubber-stamped by the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association.
So much for discretion.
Again, the players sat in that locker room and cried. And why wouldn't they? In one season they'd watched their coach die and then their dreams.
If those one-celled organisms on those boards had any sense of right and wrong, they would've given Archbishop Murphy a punishment that fit the crime. Maybe suspend the kid from the playoffs. But throw the Wildcats out of the postseason, over paperwork? That's like giving a jaywalker the chair.
How could the state come to such a flatworm-headed decision?
"Well, I'm not sure you know the whole story," said Al Falkner, WIAA executive board president. "The school admitted that in August they notified [the player] that he would become ineligible on Sept.�8 and he should update the physical. Apparently, in all the things that happen sometimes, that was forgotten."
In all the things that happen sometimes? You mean, like the kid having his home pulled out from under him and his coach dying in the middle of his season? Boy, what kind of rotten kid would forget something during all that?
Makes me want to ralph.