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Let the debate begin: private vs. public

March 22, 2010 |  4:17 pm

There's no hiding the truth about a sore subject that provokes lots of debate: public vs. private. And the fact that 15 of the 20 high school teams headed to Bakersfield this weekend for the state basketball championships are from private schools adds fuel to the fire.

"It is a disturbing trend," said Dave Vierra, boys' basketball coach at Oakland Bishop O'Dowd. "Anybody who cares long term about high school sports wants equity. The solutions for the concerns are harder to find."

Marie Ishida, executive director of the CIF, said, "As long as we continue to divide up our championships by enrollment based, we'll probably have the issue come up continually in the future."

That's because private schools are dominant in the lower divisions with small enrollments. But if public schools can't compete, that's a problem.

"As an organization, we've looked at this issue several times during my tenure, and we haven't come up with a workable alternative," Ishida said.

Somebody had better get smart and come up with some good ideas, because one day, it just might be a state championship with only private schools represented.

-- Eric Sondheimer