SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KPIX 5) — Hundreds of students and parents in the South Bay are demanding an explanation for why high school sports seasons are getting cut short this spring.
Pressure is mounting for the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League to reverse its decision while there’s still time to play.READ MORE: Oakland A's Officials To Travel To Las Vegas To Explore Possible Relocation
The controversy started last week when the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Board of Managers — which is made up of 13 school administrators — voted unanimously to not participate in the playoffs for the Central Coast Section or CCS this spring.
That caused immediate backlash from thousands of parents, student-athletes and coaches, who claimed they were blindsided and accused the board of acting selfishly.
“They’re not giving any reasons at all. They’re not giving any reasons. The only reason I’ve heard is COVID, but — as you can see — we’re out here playing,” said parent Aaron Bean, whose daughter plays on the varsity softball team at Los Gatos High School. “They’re taking away something that’s very important to these girls. And it’s not just our sport; it’s baseball, basketball and other sports as well.”
Bean argued the board’s decision makes no sense, since the athletes are all following COVID protocols and nearly every other league in the CCS is playing.
“We’re playing already. There’s no reason not to. I know the coach is mad as hell, excuse my French. But it’s just not right,” said Bean. “These girls play for a reason. They play hard and they train year round to play this game. You know, they should have the opportunity to play in the playoffs.”
The decision affects thousands of families, athletes, teams and coaches who wrote comments regarding the board’s decision on the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League website and did not mince their words.READ MORE: Alameda Hires Oakland Deputy Chief To Take Over Police Department
“These young people deserve a better ending,” wrote Stanford Women’s Swimming and Diving team Head Coach Greg Meehan.
“You should be ashamed of yourselves for the lack of transparency, fairness and consideration for the student athletes,” wrote parent Todd Johnstone.
“The student-athletes are wondering what drove you to make this decision, and why you needed to do it so deceptively,” wrote parent Jim Hori.
Los Gatos High student athletes expressed similar feelings over the lack of explanation.
“It just hurts even more,” said Los Gatos High baseball player Antonio Nanez.
They said they feel it’s not too much to ask for when they’ve already given up so much in the past year of COVID-impacted sports.
When asked if she felt like the adults failed her, Los Gatos High softball player Lynsey Chiala replied, “A little bit, knowing that we had the chance to do it and they kind of just cut us off like it was nothing. It doesn’t make sense to me knowing that other schools can do it. If they’re making it work, why can’t we? It’s my life and I love it, so I want to be out on that field.”MORE NEWS: COVID Reopening: Santa Clara County Latest To Enter Least-Restrictive Yellow Tier
KPIX reached out to the board president and commissioner Tuesday, but have not yet received a response.