Commentary: Whose Rules Rule? A Football Story

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, November 28, 2008

I’m not much of a football fan. I’ve never even seen the Placer High School Hillmen play, but I will be rooting for them tonight. I’m a fan of Dalton Dyer, the hard luck foster kid whose transfer from the Bay Area almost cost him and his teammates the post season they had earned.

Dalton, a junior at Placer High moved from one set of foster parents in Vallejo last summer, to another set of foster parents in Auburn. He immediately joined the Placer High football team where he played running back. The team played well enough to get into the playoffs.

Then somebody prompted league officials to look into the fact that Placer High had failed to fill out Dalton’s transfer paperwork on time. That oversight made Dalton ineligible. So Placer High had to forfeit two league games, knocking them out of the playoffs.

This being America, someone sued. The playoff was postponed. And in an Oakland courtroom on Monday, common sense prevailed. The judge ruled that state laws intended to protect foster kids trumped the league’s heartless, nitpicking rules.

So Dalton and his Placer High teammates play tonight against Oakdale. Go Placer. Go Dalton. Win this one for foster kids everywhere.


Ginger Rutland writes for The Sacramento Bee opinion pages.