What's your take on the 9-2 vote by Metro League principals that Chief Sealth shouldn't have to forfeit its girls basketball victories and the championships won by recruited players?
A: I'm disappointed because Sealth was caught blatantly cheating, and cheaters shouldn't get to keep trophies. But enough pontificating.
What everyone seems to be forgetting is that Sealth is hardly off the hook yet.
The biggest recruiting scandal in Washington prep history goes in June before the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association District 2 board. This is a 13-member body from four leagues (KingCo 4A, Sea-Tac B, Metro 3A and 1A Emerald City, plus middle-school representation) that isn't neck-deep in Metro League politics the way the Metro principals are.
What the Metro principals' vote tells me is just how fragile the public-school/private-school relations are in the league. We're dealing with something as breakable as a Faberge egg.
A little history: The Metro League started as a public-school league in 1914; the private schools currently in the league didn't start joining until the 1970s. The league operates out of Seattle School District offices. While private schools like to think of themselves as full members, to me they just have green-card status, to use an immigration comparison.
The last thing the private schools want to lose is Metro League membership, because the league is so convenient. Twelve of 14 members are within the Seattle city limits, so no team has to leave school early for an afternoon game.
Private schools also mop up almost every Metro championship, but I honestly think the trophy-collecting takes a backseat to convenience. If I were a parent writing tuition checks for thousands of dollars, I'd want my kid in a classroom at 2 o'clock, not on a bus.
Everyone, including me, also is quick to sing the praises of the Metro League, which is a wonderful bouillabaisse of skin colors and income levels. This is a league where one kid in a basketball jump ball might be the son of a millionaire and the other kid qualifies for free school lunches. Hands down, it's the most interesting league in the state.
The principals' vote may appear to show a lack of principles, but I think most of them are quietly banking on the Sea-King board and then the WIAA executive board to do what needs to be done.
Q: How many states have the hammer throw as a high-school track-and-field event?
A: One — Rhode Island.
However, that hasn't prevented this state from turning out "hammer-heads." At last count, there were 11 graduates of Washington high schools throwing the ball-and-chain for colleges.
The No. 1 promoter of hammer-throwing in the state is Lane C. Dowell of Bremerton, former head track coach at West Bremerton High School and a nationally honored track official. Dowell has lobbied the WIAA for years to allow the hammer to become an official state event. Safety concerns — it doesn't take much imagination to visualize a steel ball flying at a spectator — always are always cited as a reason why the event is unlikely to be sanctioned.
Dowell defends his pet event by saying, "The hammer is like a car. It is as safe as you want to make it."
He added that the hammer provides a wealth of scholarship opportunities for high-school throwers, and said that count has reached 23 since 2000.
Q: I keep hearing this term "C team." What is it?
A: Instead of having a freshman team, many schools have a C team that consists of freshman and some sophomores. The hierarchy thus is varsity, junior-varsity and C team. At a three-year school, the C team is typically all sophomores.
Have a question about high-school sports? Craig Smith will find the answer every Tuesday in The Times. Ask your question in one of the following ways: Voice mail (206-464-8279), snail mail (Craig Smith, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.