Friday, March 20, 2009

South Oak Cliff, that's some school

South Oak Cliff is an historic high school in Dallas. It's one of the oldest schools in the city, but it can't help make headlines for all the wrong reasons. And this is just in the last month.

In February, it directly affected Amarillo. The 2005 basketball team had to forfeit the 4A state title after an internal investigation determined that three players had their failing grades changed to passing. Two of them were their best players. Both were 6-foot-9 talents. Darrell Arthur, who started on last year's Kansas national championship team, is with the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA. Kevin Rogers is a senior starter at Baylor. They were the heart and soul of that team.

How does that affect Amarillo? Palo Duro played SOC in the state semifinals in 2005. After trailing 32-31 at halftime, PD eventually lost, 76-57. South Oak Cliff went on to easily win in the title game. A good case can be made if those ineligible players were not allowed to play, PD could have won state.

And just to prove that SOC is nothing else if not consistent -- and a cheat -- the school forfeited the 2006 title for the same reason.

Now comes the latest revelations this week that troubled students at the high school, to settle their differences, were put in a steel utility cage inside the boys locker room in a bare-knuckled brawl while other students watched and cheered them on. These occurred between 2003 and 2005.

Dallas ISD officials told the Dallas Morning News that no school officials who orchestrated the fights face criminal charges because of the statute of limitations.

Sounds like there was -- and maybe still is -- some serious lack of administrative leadership at that school.

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