Taholah appeal to be heard by WIAA

Taholah High School and its legal representatives will get their chance in front of the WIAA Executive Board this weekend in Renton.

Meanwhile, a meeting last Friday in Aberdeen with WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese and Coastal League officials was held to resolve the former league’s basketball schedules and address concerns.

On Sunday and Monday, the WIAA Executive Board will meet at the WIAA offices in Renton. One item to be placed on the agenda will be a presentation by Taholah and its representatives over its appeal of Coastal League sanctions and the league’s dissolution.

According a press statement from Taholah superintendent Lyn Roberts, the school will get their chance on Monday. However, the time and date of the meeting with the board has not been finalized, added Colbrese.

“The appeals are based on the league’s lack of any factual basis or legal authority to impose the ban or dissolve the league to avoid playing scheduled contests with Taholah,” Roberts said in a statement to The Daily World. “The league’s unsubstantiated allegations concern adult conduct, not conduct by Taholah athletes, but it chose to improve penalties directly on Taholah’s students’ right to participate in interscholastic athletic activities in violation of the WIAA’s 2012-13 Penalty Code.”

Colbrese noted the meeting was well received and all parties — athletic directors and superintendents from the six Class 1B schools — were able to air out their concerns. Among the concerns were the cancellation of games by several former league members against Taholah and safety/eligibility issues.

“The meeting went well,” Colbrese said. “People were happy to sit together. I congratulated everyone for being open and for looking outside of the box to get those games in.

“It was an opportunity to air the concerns that were going out,” he added. “I wanted to make sure the superintendents and athletic directors had a chance to interact together about the issues, with Taholah present, and to see what could be done to get more games for Taholah’s (basketball) schedule.”

Roberts noted in her statement that the meeting took place, but nothing in terms of making up cancelled games was resolved.

“No immediate agreement to play cancelled contests resulted,” Roberts said. “Based on this, Taholah is continuing its appeals to the WIAA Executive Board. Taholah’s appeals … seek to overturn these league actions and require cancelled contests to be made up or declared forfeits.”

“There is a concern about safety issues,” Colbrese said. “The schools want to be assured, because of recent events at other schools (nationally), that their fans and kids would be safe. Taholah wanted to assure the group that it was doing it due diligence to find out all of the facts and to address that issue.”