San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 23rd, 2008
Strange call on San Marcos

By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large

The University Interscholastic League followed a strange re-alignment with an equally strange ruling on appeal.

San Marcos High School asked to be moved from District 27-4A, which is oriented to San Antonio and parts west, so it could move to District 17-4A, which is oriented to the east of Austin. This week, the UIL granted half of that – San Marcos will play football in District 27-4A and every other sport in District 17-4A.

San Marcos officials told the UIL they were concerned about kids traveling to Boerne and Kerrville on school nights, so the UIL took them at their word. Except for urban school districts, after all, football isn’t played on school nights, so it does no harm for the Rattlers to visit Kerrville and Boerne for football.

The big winner from the UIL’s call is Lehman football coach Steve Davis, who only needs to beat out two teams, instead of three, to win a playoff appearance for fourth place in six-team District 17-4A. Hays probably would have been better off in football with San Marcos in District 17-4A because the Rebels might have dropped to Division II in the playoffs. Now, Hays would certainly become a Division I team in the football playoffs.

The UIL’s ruling seems to acknowledge that its district making was in error while also acknowledging that the District 17-4A schools didn’t want San Marcos. So, the UIL split the difference.

Arguments to the effect that the UIL has opened a slippery slope by addressing San Marcos’ appeal are fallacious. After all, a slippery slope is a fallacy. The UIL should always be willing to admit errors when it makes them and fix those problems accordingly. The mere fact that someone appeals doesn’t mean the UIL has to rule in or out of its favor.

If the UIL’s decision on San Marcos is defensible – and it is – it’s also weird. There’s no question that it’s much easier for San Marcos to reach Manor and Elgin than Boerne and Kerrville, especially with SH 130 opening up. At the same time, San Marcos can’t argue that placement in a district with Kerrville Tivy is a football hardship when the Rattlers have scheduled Tivy in non-district football for the last two seasons.

So, San Marcos will deal with a mutated status for the next couple years. Those who are put off that the UIL would consider that appeal might be comforted to know the UIL is making San Marcos pay a price for it.

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