SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Parents of dozens of Sacramento youth football league players say the league fumbled the kickoff.
As play began today in record heat, parents and some coaches are angry and baffled by a new, unwritten rule, more like a decree, they say, from league commissioner Jay Erhart. Though it is not written in the official 2017 rule book, parents say Erhart has ruled that any player who transferred to a team other than the one he or she played for last year will be suspended for the first four games, or half the eight game season.
“They’re infringing on the rights of parents to do what’s right for their children and that’s not fair,” said one Burbank Titan volunteer who has sent several boys through the SYF over the past decade. She says parents change teams for a number of reasons, not the least of them, for the safety of their child.
She says parents change teams for a number of reasons, not the least of them, for the safety of their child.
“One example is a player who plays a skilled position and doesn’t have the offensive or defensive size in their lineman to protect them who suffer concussions in the program may go to another program to avoid concussions in the following season.”
Burbank Titan coach Harold Williams says the policy is wrong.
“Board members of the youth league and the coaches need to sit down and work this out together instead of punishing these kids,” Williams said.
One person close to the program told CBS13 the policy may have grown out of the loss of one player from the Jesuit Junior Maruders, and the displeasure of Jesuit Coach Chris Lee. In an interview with CBS13, Lee denied the allegation.
“That’s not the way it happened. We have players suspended too. It’s a league matter, you’d have to ask the league,” Lee said.
We reached out repeatedly to commissioner Erhart, who did not return our calls for a comment.
Parents say the league, which has 40 teams – most affiliated with high school programs in the region – may be trying to modify it’s rules to be more like the CIF, the state governing board for high school sports. Compounding what they say is the unfair benching of the transfers, they claim the league is not refunding any of the hundreds of dollars in fees they pay, even though the transferring kids will play just half the season.