Amador basketball has an aau team - is this ethical?
Original post made
by Curious, Golden Eagle,
on Sep 13, 2009
I just found out that Amador has an aau basketball team they put together this past summer. They are even called the "Dons". I thought high school teams are not allowed to do this. There was an informational meeting and the guy was really pushing it, he stopped short of saying that if your kid was not in this aau program ($1200?!) that he would not make the Amador team. I also heard that the aau Don's are coached by the Amador coaches and they use the Amador facilities. Does Foothill do this also? I really thought there was some kind of HS rule that you couldn't do this or is it just unethical? Anyone out there know for sure?
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Posted by billy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2009 at 12:45 am
wow, there are so many complaints about this program. i cannot imagine what has so many of you so up in arms. there seems to be some basic catagories of complaints
this program is somehow unethical, illegal, immoral and most certainly against CIF NCS rules. sam of castlewood, the "unbaised one", would have us believe this program violates section 510, he even gives us a link to follow and check it out. the section clearly defines undue influence, and the definition is predicated on exerting such influence to entice a player to enroll in your school. there is no such enticement occuring in this program. rule 510 is in existence to prevent schools from recruiting students solely to play sports for a school. this program does not attempt to recruit anyone, it simply provides an opportunity for local kids to play spring and summer ball. in fact sam, the "unbiased one", later points out de la salle has been operating a similar summer program for years. that program, greenline or asa, is run by de la salle coaches and the teams are coached by de la salle coaches and it has players from 6th grade through high school. quite similar to the dons program other than it has been around longer and is a bigger program. in fact many players from amador and foothill have played in that program in years past. huh? i wonder why no one has shut that thing down?
sam from castlewood also has analysed the cost of this prgram for us to prove the coaches are profiteering off of these unsuspecting players. he assumes the program cost $1200.00, but it really cost $1000.00 for the spring, suumer and the summer camp (at least that is what i paid). in his look at the expenses of the program, he used only a portion of the 2 months of summer activities rather than all of the spring and summer activities. it seems sam is really trying to prove his unbiased point rather than trying to look at the truth. the total program lasted for a little over 4 months and included: Spring: practice twice a week; training at crossfit, 3 times a week; 3 tournaments. summer: practice twice a week; training at crossfit 3 times a week; summer league play; 3 local tournamets, one week of basketball camp, 3 day tournament in reno; 2 day tournament in rocklin. now i don't know what each of these cost, but the cost of crossfit was $150 per player per 2-month session, the camp cost and the cost for food at the camp was $200.00 per player. those two costs represent half of the amount we paid and the other half covered the tournaments, uniforms and insurance.
at one time i arranged for a few months of open gym for some players in pleasanton and i rented gym space from the city. this was 7 years ago and the insurance cost for 30 players was about $600.00 per month. i don't know what the insurance cost was for this program but i cannot imagine that is was less than what i paid 7 years ago.
now i am not saying the coaches did not get paid out of what we paid for this program, but they are not making the amount of money a few people, like "unbiased" sam, assert. if you look at the hours they put in it seems like we received a real good deal. also if you look at the comparable cost of other spring and summer programs this program was more reasonable.
the other main complaints in this wandering thread seems to be either there is a coach who is a bad apple and is in it just so his son can play, or there is someone (this coach?) who claims his son has made the team prior to any tryouts being held, or all the coaches who have sons are coaching just to further their son's high school basketball careers or the kids who play summer ball are guaranteed a spot just so the coaches can continue to profit off of them.
this is all so upsetting that we have a local, used to be a CBS sports writer, take it upon himself to root out the evil doers in this for profit basketball scam. he goes to the PMS game to see first hand how this "AAU Coach" is exploiting the kids of pleasanton.
now as far as the "AAU Coach from PMS" who was so brazen as to sit with coach Bufkin at the PMS game, our CBS reporter would want to demonize him for taking the parents money and taking advantage of the players. however this "reporter" never bothered to determine that this coach was a volunteer and had no hand in setting up the summer program, determining its fees or sharing in the "profits". he also doesn't seem to know or didn't bother to find out, that mr aau coach is the 9th coach out of 9 coaches involved in the dons summer program. it seems a bit of a stretch to think the 9th coach of 9 coaches is somehow behind a grand scheme to profit off of the pleasanton basketball community while all the time trying to further his real goal which is to assure is to assure his son a place on the local high school team. not very objective reporting there, perhaps that is why he is a former reporter. i'm sure he doesn't mind me making up stuff about his career as he has no problem fabricating and strectching the truth based on his one game of observations.
as far as the players listening to this coach and coach Bufkin allowing him to assist on the bench, i think the AAU coach is still an assistant at PMS. these coaches at the middle schools are mostly parent volunteers, there are a few head coaches like coach bufkin but mostly the schools rely on parents to volunteer the time to help coach. there used to be a stipend of around $500.00 for the assistant middle school coaches but this year that has gone away. so this brazen aau coach must be volunteering to be an assitant for no pay. if indeed mr aau coach is still a PMS assistant, then he has every right and indeed he is expected to sit brazenly on the bench shouting instructions to the players. maybe cbs reporter should have spoken to the coaches, or the school or even maybe one of the parents who like the coaching style of mr aau coach, (i know there are a few because i have spoken to them). of course that would not have helped to illustrate his extremely sarcastic point and also would not have helped me with mine.
now the last group of comment makers throughout this thread have been the clearly biased parents who don't like: the fact that mr aau coach has volunteered to help his own sons play more and perhaps better; that mr aau coach has claimed his son will or has made the amador team when tryouts are still a month away; that their own sons may not or have not got a fair shake at playing; that other coaches such as coach beaza also have a subjective way of dealing with players. if indeed this is an accurate or even a partially accurate description of the motivations for tearing down the entire program, i would hope these parents would consider whether elimination of the program is what is best for their own sons.
it seems to me the issue of subjective judging of different players abilities is always going to exist, the fact that some players may make a team or get more playing time when some people believe another player may be more deserving is always going to exist. but what is also true is the best way for most kids to improve is to play and the best way for most kids to make teams and earn playing time is to improve their games. basketball is a game which rewards height, speed and athleticism. if you have two of these three things you usually attract a coaches attention. if you have one and it is height you always get a good look. if you are average in these things then the best way to make a team is to be able to shoot lights outs in a competive situation. if you can do none of these things then you have to be the smartest, hardest working player to even get a look. the difficult thing for a coach is most players are simply average and the small things which differentiate the players to the coach are very subjective and are things many parents may not see either in their sons or see as lacking in their sons. most high school teams have 10 - 15 players and of those players perhaps 6-8 players get most of the game time and maybe 1-2 players will get a small amount of time. which usually means 5 to 7 sets of parents think the coach doesn't know how to evaluate his players correctly and that is out of the parents who are happy their sons made the team. the parents of the players who did not make the cut usually think their son did not get a fair chance or they cannot understand why the other kid, who their son is just as good as, made the team when their son did not.
if you are one of the parents who think somehow your son will not get a fair shake at amador, you need to talk to the head coach and get him to explain the process. if your son does not make the team or does but doesn't get playing time then you need to talk to the coach and find out why and what your son can do to improve. you can work with you son to help him improve and have a better shot next year. perhaps if you are lucky there will be a good off season program which will allow your son to play with good players and for good high school level coaches and against good competion. this will certainly help him improve. but remember all of the kids who made the team or who play in front of your son are also doing the offseason work plus some are doing more. to improve more than the rest, you have to work harder than the rest.
last point, you can tear down this program, you can tear down coach fields (as this is his program), you can sit and shout about the unfairness of it all, you can claim to be unbaised and only interested in justice but at the end of the day if this program is stiffled and this coach or all of the coaches are replaced, your son will still have to show another coach with subjective judgement he can play. sometimes the best approach is to recognize the strengths of your situation and work with those involved to make it better. perhaps the thing to do is to speak with coach fields.