Minnehaha Academy's Craig McDonald Ruled Ineligible to Play His Senior Year.

short ornery norwegian

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Something like that happened at a school in SW MN about 15 years ago. A kid transferred from one school to another, and repeated a grade level. he got into senior high, was playing FB, and some kids from his former school realized that he was now a grade behind his former classmates. So they reported it, the kid was declared ineligible during the season, and his new team had to forfeit all the games he had played in.

It's too bad for the McDonald kid, but it sure looks like a violation under the rules. You can say his parents should not have started him in school that early, but it was their choice. The State HS league does have provisions for hardship transfers, but that does not seem to apply to the current situation.
 

Sparlimb

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On the high school hockey board, there is a thread on a kid in the same spot this year. Did 8th grade twice and so as a senior he can't play varsity hockey. Granted for those kids they just go to juniors. Football has no such thing...
 

Roland Brooks

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I have heard ALLEGEDLY a couple kids have done this repeating a middle school grade claiming the same reason. Social adjustment etc.. Kids coming from public school or a different middle school to a private middle school. The old middle school redshirt. Allegedly of course. Better get Doogie to do some scooping and do a transcript check. Ha
 

Sparlimb

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I have heard ALLEGEDLY a couple kids have done this repeating a middle school grade claiming the same reason. Social adjustment etc.. Kids coming from public school or a different middle school to a private middle school. The old middle school redshirt. Allegedly of course. Better get Doogie to do some scooping and do a transcript check. Ha
Hockey kid was from Chaska. So no private school involved there.
 

50PoundHead

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How did the MSHSL find out?
I wouldn't be surprised if this resulted from a tip from a competitor. To me, it boils down to the reason for repeating a grade. If it was done for academic purposes, let the kid play. If solely for athletic purposes, a pox on all parties. I had an acquaintance who used to coach high school football in Texas. He told me that there was a lot of kindergarten red-shirting by parents who thought their kid was the next big gridiron star. A fair share of 19-year-old high school seniors.
 

Roland Brooks

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Good info. Thanks. I wonder if he went to middle school there? I have allegedly heard there has been a middle school grade repeat or two there.
 

rockford

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I had an acquaintance who used to coach high school football in Texas. He told me that there was a lot of kindergarten red-shirting by parents who thought their kid was the next big gridiron star. A fair share of 19-year-old high school seniors.
Yes, I remember reading about this 20 or 30 years ago. But with the state of Texas being eminently progressive, I'm sure they've put a stop to it. :rolleyes:

JTG
 

OddStack

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Yes, I remember reading about this 20 or 30 years ago. But with the state of Texas being eminently progressive, I'm sure they've put a stop to it. :rolleyes:

JTG
If you guys can find it, you need to watch a documentary titled Go Tigers. It's about HS football in Massilon, Ohio; that's where the Speilman boys grew up, and home to Paul Brown. It's well worth the watch. Anyway, they interview a few teachers talking about how many 8th graders are held back for simply football reasons. They don't even try to hide it.

here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfmABDakTmI
 

Slim Tubby

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Why does society today establish rules and regulations meant to penalize/stifle the development of our children? Whether it was academic or social reasoning behind the decision to repeat the grade, nothing about this ruling is advantageous to Craig...and quite possibly very embarrassing. While we're at it, why don't we just tell women that government should have more control over their body than they do.
 

Livingat45north

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I wouldn't be surprised if this resulted from a tip from a competitor. To me, it boils down to the reason for repeating a grade. If it was done for academic purposes, let the kid play. If solely for athletic purposes, a pox on all parties. I had an acquaintance who used to coach high school football in Texas. He told me that there was a lot of kindergarten red-shirting by parents who thought their kid was the next big gridiron star. A fair share of 19-year-old high school seniors.
Holding back kids is done more than you'd think. There are several studies on the benefits of holding your 5-year old kid back a year. Basically you get an advantage from an early age at being the best in your class and that helps you throughout your life. I also read a study on NHL players where they looked at their birth dates. Basically, there's a strong bias towards the birth dates of NHL players being close to the leading edge of a school year, so even though they weren't held back a year, they tended to be the oldest students in their given classes. Being the oldest they tend to do better in athletics, and that carried them all the way to the NHL. I do know quite a few immigrant families that say their kids are several years younger than they actually are -- I think that's done more so along the lines that they want their kids to have a better chance of succeeding academically, versus athletics.
 

FredCoxRocks

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My "out-on-a-limb" bet says he decommits from ISU and enrolls early at Minnesota just to be closer to home. No inside info. but just a wild guess.
 

nsmike

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I wonder if he's a candidate for IMG Academy of one of the prep schools.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Why does society today establish rules and regulations meant to penalize/stifle the development of our children? Whether it was academic or social reasoning behind the decision to repeat the grade, nothing about this ruling is advantageous to Craig...and quite possibly very embarrassing. While we're at it, why don't we just tell women that government should have more control over their body than they do.
Presumably the eligibility rule is based in how many years you get to play / maybe an advantage someone might gain in being older bigger etc?
 

Slim Tubby

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Presumably the eligibility rule is based in how many years you get to play / maybe an advantage someone might gain in being older bigger etc?
Your comment makes perfect sense and if a Senior wanted to repeat their final year for whatever reason, I can see that applying to the situation. However, from an educational standpoint, if they accepted the decision when he was only in 8th grade then that decision should be grandfathered and honored all the way through the completion of his El-Hi experience. Is he banned from Math class because he had an extra year to learn? Banned from Choir because his voice has an extra year to mature? I realize my opinion on this topic is somewhat flawed. I'll root for this kid wherever he ends up in college.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Your comment makes perfect sense and if a Senior wanted to repeat their final year for whatever reason, I can see that applying to the situation. However, from an educational standpoint, if they accepted the decision when he was only in 8th grade then that decision should be grandfathered and honored all the way through the completion of his El-Hi experience. Is he banned from Math class because he had an extra year to learn? Banned from Choir because his voice has an extra year to mature? I realize my opinion on this topic is somewhat flawed. I'll root for this kid wherever he ends up in college.
Did they accept it or even know? It is a bummer that they found out later but they got whatever extra year advantage for all the years up until now ....
 

Slim Tubby

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Did they accept it or even know? It is a bummer that they found out later but they got whatever extra year advantage for all the years up until now ....
Agree 100%...apparently no one was concerned as a 10th grader that this created unfair advantages for him. The MSHSL seems to be the NCAA's little brother but I digress. Whoever is responsible for "turning him in" clearly leads the charge for participation trophies as well...
 

50PoundHead

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Holding back kids is done more than you'd think. There are several studies on the benefits of holding your 5-year old kid back a year. Basically you get an advantage from an early age at being the best in your class and that helps you throughout your life. I also read a study on NHL players where they looked at their birth dates. Basically, there's a strong bias towards the birth dates of NHL players being close to the leading edge of a school year, so even though they weren't held back a year, they tended to be the oldest students in their given classes. Being the oldest they tend to do better in athletics, and that carried them all the way to the NHL. I do know quite a few immigrant families that say their kids are several years younger than they actually are -- I think that's done more so along the lines that they want their kids to have a better chance of succeeding academically, versus athletics.
I have rubbed elbows with some interesting folks over the years and one was a fairly successful businessman who wanted to get his kid into Blake. A fair number of boys at age 5 lag behind girls in social development skills for some reason and Blake told the businessman that they would accept his five-year-old boy (and his tuition money) if they enrolled him in kindergarten at age 6 the next time around. Now Blake, like Minnehaha, is a private school and they don't take all comers, so we may have a similar case with McDonald only at a later grade where there conditions attached to his acceptance. It's unclear from the story where he repeated eighth grade. My guess is he went from public school eighth grade to Minnehaha Academy eighth grade.
 

GophersInIowa

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Why does society today establish rules and regulations meant to penalize/stifle the development of our children? Whether it was academic or social reasoning behind the decision to repeat the grade, nothing about this ruling is advantageous to Craig...and quite possibly very embarrassing. While we're at it, why don't we just tell women that government should have more control over their body than they do.
I'm assuming this rule wasn't put in place just for the heck of it. There were probably people taking advantage of it (holding someone back for athletic purposes).
 

nsmike

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The MSHL is super conservative I'm glad I grew up in a state with simpler rules. If you were 18 on the date of the first game, you could play, even if you turned 19 during the season.
 

Slim Tubby

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I'm assuming this rule wasn't put in place just for the heck of it. There were probably people taking advantage of it (holding someone back for athletic purposes).
Serious question...do you think the family made the decision at the age of 13 with the intent of giving Craig an advantage athletically over his peers rather than improving his academic success? It seems implausible to me that was the intent but as I said before, my personal opinion on the topic has plenty of flaws.
 

Roland Brooks

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It appears Dartmouth was recruiting this kid so unless repeating 8th grade created a miracle it appears he was progressing just fine academically. Credit to the kid. This makes me lean more toward an athletic advantage. IMO
 

highwayman

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Serious question...do you think the family made the decision at the age of 13 with the intent of giving Craig an advantage athletically over his peers rather than improving his academic success? It seems implausible to me that was the intent but as I said before, my personal opinion on the topic has plenty of flaws.
First, I agree with you. Junior High is junior high. If a kid is in not in 9-12, it should not matter why he’s held back. Not at all.

Paradoxically, both my sons are and were one year ahead in math and science. Both took 9th grade courses while in 8th grade. When they changed schools, their new HS would not give them credit for “junior high classes” even after the instructors and principal wrote letter about the academic rigor involved.

I also went to HS with a former scholarship Gopher who’s twin sister graduated with me the year before. He was bigger and faster, and the best 3 sport athlete in the school, and an A student as a junior and senior. His folks were completely open as why they held him back.

Lastly, my dad got a full ride scholarship to Minnehaha in the late 40s to play football, basketball, and baseball. He sucked in school. They won the State parochial basketball title in 1948.
 
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tjgopher

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Serious question...do you think the family made the decision at the age of 13 with the intent of giving Craig an advantage athletically over his peers rather than improving his academic success? It seems implausible to me that was the intent but as I said before, my personal opinion on the topic has plenty of flaws.
I don't know the McDonalds in any way, so this comment has nothing to do with them.

But, yes, I find it entirely plausible for parents to make decisions for a 13 year old that might be related to gaining advantages in athletics. There are 13-year old kids accepting scholarship offers from college hockey teams and 13-year old getting scholarship offers from football and basketball programs.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Serious question...do you think the family made the decision at the age of 13 with the intent of giving Craig an advantage athletically over his peers rather than improving his academic success? It seems implausible to me that was the intent but as I said before, my personal opinion on the topic has plenty of flaws.
Considering the fanaticism of parents when it comes to youth sports... I think that is a very plausible thing someone would do and much more likely earlier than later.
 

MinnGopher

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Why does society today establish rules and regulations meant to penalize/stifle the development of our children? Whether it was academic or social reasoning behind the decision to repeat the grade, nothing about this ruling is advantageous to Craig...and quite possibly very embarrassing. While we're at it, why don't we just tell women that government should have more control over their body than they do.
Sir, this is not the off topic board
 

Slim Tubby

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I don't know the McDonalds in any way, so this comment has nothing to do with them.

But, yes, I find it entirely plausible for parents to make decisions for a 13 year old that might be related to gaining advantages in athletics. There are 13-year old kids accepting scholarship offers from college hockey teams and 13-year old getting scholarship offers from football and basketball programs.
I suppose it's entirely possible. The way I was raised, athletics weren't even in the conversation if my grades didn't meet my parents' expectations so I'm probably naïve about potential motives. I wonder if anyone informed the family back when Craig was in 8th grade that this move would cost him his eligibility as a senior. If they did and still held him back, that would certainly point towards an academic/social motive but we'll never know.
 

Word

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I don't know the McDonalds in any way, so this comment has nothing to do with them.

But, yes, I find it entirely plausible for parents to make decisions for a 13 year old that might be related to gaining advantages in athletics. There are 13-year old kids accepting scholarship offers from college hockey teams and 13-year old getting scholarship offers from football and basketball programs.
I know of a few cases just in my own circles of people holding a kid back a year to gain athletic/academic advantages. It's somewhat common these days.

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