I was surprised and dismayed to read your article on how the professional sports “mentality” reached down to distort Milton’s basketball team.
Let me start by saying I am not a major sports (basketball, baseball, football) fan at any level (high school, college or professional). I know nothing of the players or the coach involved except what was in your article.
When I was young, high school sports were viewed as an opportunity for local kids to get good exercise and learn a lot of valuable “life lessons” in team building, sportsmanship and hard work. As such, high school sports were a good investment of local taxpayer dollars. You went to games to watch and root for your community’s kids, and you had hopes that, in turn, your own kid might have the opportunity to play on one of his/her school teams.
However, this chronic situation (whether intentional or not) of attracting transfers really shoots down that view of high school sports. Did all of these transfers already live in Milton’s school district; or, were most of them nonresidents?
If nonresidents, did their families really uproot their lives to move to Milton and set down new roots? Did these families stay after their talented basketball child moved on to college?
Or, did many of these families game the system and just meet the minimal requirements to be deemed “residents” of Milton’s school district until their talented child graduated? (Or not even that, as you state that one transfer was temporarily deemed ineligible due to residency issues.)
For each nonresident transfer starter player, another longer-standing Milton resident player was benched and another didn’t even make the team. Of course, this was a zero-sum situation.
Another player in the transfer’s prior school district got an opportunity to play who wouldn’t have if the transfer had stayed and played on his original school’s team. In effect, Milton kids were shut out while more of other school districts’ kids got a chance to play high school ball.
I am surprised that Milton just sat by for years and watched their kids’ team get overtaken by “just-here-for-the-ball” transfers. Were Milton residents powerless to stop this apparent abuse of the school district residency rules? Was winning championships more important? Where were the Milton residents, the Fulton County School Board and the Milton HS administration’s voices on this situation for the last four years?