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Football: A look at the ugly side of high school sports

March 5, 2013 | 10:00 pm

I thought negative rumors being spread trying to influence kids and their parents on what schools they should choose was reserved for college recruiting.

Well, it's happening at the high school level and seems to be picking up steam just as Catholic high schools prepare to start registering incoming freshmen Saturday.

For weeks, there have been false rumors circulating on message boards regarding Crespi having to forfeit football games from last fall and how Jon Mack might be out as coach. Athletic Director Matt Luderer keeps getting phone call after phone call. He says there's nothing to the forfeits and as far as he knows, Mack is staying as coach.

Now Mack could end up getting another job, but he's not getting fired. And yet, the silly rumors persist. Yes, Crespi has a new president and is getting a new principal. That's good for the school. They''re going to improve the academics and discipline. And even if Mack were to leave, Crespi would almost certainly hire its competent, highly regarded offensive coordinator, Pepe Villasenor, as his replacement.

I know one top eighth-grader, defensive end Mason Tolliver (above), who's going to enroll at Crespi no matter what rumors are floating around, because his parents think Crespi is a good academic school (Tolliver gets A's on his report card).

So stop the rumors and start letting parents choose schools based on academics first, then let sports enter the equation.

-- Eric Sondheimer