Statement from the Bellevue Wolverines Football Club
From the outset of this investigation, we pursued every possible avenue to vocalize serious concerns about the investigators’ extraordinarily blatant bias, coupled with their aggressive and prejudiced tactics used to develop this report. Now we have seen the report, and its contents not only confirm our concerns with the investigation, but they are significantly increased because of the investigators’ seriously flawed conclusions and profound misinterpretation of WIAA regulations.
To be clear, we believe that we did not violate any WIAA regulations. Moreover, we are proud of our BHS football community – and we are proud of our club’s commitment to the many causes we serve. We look forward to working with the Bellevue School District toward a fair resolution of this issue.
Tellingly, the report fails to provide any evidence to support allegations against BWFC and BHS football coaches. By its own admission, the report is based on “inferences rather than direct evidence,” and it is instead rife with errors, misinformation, rumors and the conjecture of the investigators. We believe the WIAA’s own fact-finding guidelines prohibit such sloppy methodology.
There are several examples of problems with the report’s careless conclusions:
· It is not the responsibility of BHS coaches to monitor players’ addresses.
o No WIAA rule requires coaches to investigate the validity of players’ addresses. That responsibility lies appropriately with the district. Yet, the report misplaces blame and goes as far as to accuse coaches and others of “cheating” in this regard.
· All BHS coaches have been compensated well within the WIAA’s rules.
o The report acknowledges payments to coaches to be “technically correct” under the WIAA’s rules, yet it goes out of its way to show cumulative payments over a 10-year span to make the report appear more inflammatory.
o The report is selective in its language and deliberately distorts the WIAA rule regarding coaches’ payments. The rule states: “Coaching stipends and all gifts to a coach exceeding a total of $500 in a season must be approved by the school’s board of directors.”
o The report omits this important “in a season” distinction covered by WIAA Rule 23.1.1, which allows payments to be made to coaches outside of the season, and for duties other than high school coaching.
o Indeed, the scope of Coach Goncharoff’s additional responsibilities fall far outside the football season, and encompass a wide range of youth programs, camps, player mentorship and other laudable activities.
· The Fort Worden annual summer football camp is not a “special inducement” for players, and thus does not violate WIAA Rule 27.1.0(A)(1).
o The Fort Worden camp has long been offered to football players as a joint effort of Bellevue High School and BWFC. The report suggests that other schools do not have team camps, which is patently wrong – many, many schools have team camps organized, funded and sponsored by booster clubs, with funds made available for students in need.
o The camp is coordinated and managed in partnership with Bellevue High School, which takes responsibility for reviewing and approving scholarships for all participants.
· The Bellevue Wolverines Football Club did not, nor did any coaches, pay The Academic Institute tuition for football players.
o It is undisputed that the BWFC has long supported The Academic Institute among its wide range of charitable causes, with unrestricted contributions. Its history of this support has been well documented following the rules and guidelines for nonprofits.
The report weakly insinuates that an email from The Academic Institute executive director Jennifer Vice, in which she confirms relying on support from BWFC contributions to help fund one student’s scholarship, proves a WIAA violation, but this is yet another example of the investigators’ reliance on inferences over evidence. It is hardly surprising that The Academic Institute chose to allocate some of the grant money it receives from BWFC to offset the tuition of student-athletes, and this violates no WIAA rule.
· Directing students to attend The Academic Institute is not a WIAA rule violation.
o Regardless of whether coaches encouraged students to attend The Academic Institute or not, doing so does not constitute a WIAA rule violation.
o The citations used by the investigators in this portion of the report have nothing to do with a coach’s role in helping student-athletes achieve academic success.
o Effective coaches take interest in their student-athletes’ performance on and off the field, and it is not outside the scope of a coach’s role to counsel a player on improving his or her grades.
There are many more examples of the report’s missteps, but most infuriating to us continues to be blatant harassment and disrespect of the families, students, volunteers and generous supporters within our community, at the hands of these investigators.
We are deeply troubled by the pain that innocent families have endured over the past 15 months. No family should be harassed, bullied, belittled, intimidated and especially discriminated against because of their race or background. We also believe the investigators’ methods, beyond those that resulted in the dismissal of one investigator, flagrantly violate the WIAA’s own guidelines regarding fact-finding conduct outlined in the WIAA 2014-2015 Handbook, Appendix 11.
While this process is far from complete, we are committed to working with the Bellevue School District and WIAA to ensure the Football Club and Bellevue coaches continue operating within the bounds of WIAA regulations, as we always have done.
Both the Bellevue Girls and Boys have reached the Basketball State Championships held in Tacoma - games begin March 3. The boys, ranked #3 in the state bring their Kingco League championship to the tournament. The girls ranked #1 in the state, #13 in the nation and Kingco league championship are undefeated and winners of the prestigious Nike Championship. This the girls fourth year in a row in a state and the boys 7th trip to Tacoma in 10 years.
Bellevue Wolverines win 3A State Swim Championships!
National Signing Day! Where did the graduating class of 2016 football Wolverines sign? Pac 12 signees - UW, WSU, Oregon State, Colorado, Utah D1/D2 Cal Pitzer, EWU and Central
Post Season Honors
NFL All Pro 1st Team - David DeCastro / Stanford alum
UW Budda Baker - All Pac 12 1st team
UW All Academic 3.1 + - Eldrenkamp, Kneip, Roberts, Baker, Richmond and Constatine
Boise State Marcus Henry - Mountain West 1st team
Bellevue Wolverines - Seattle Times All Stars, Omar Dyles, Marquis DeWeert, Isaac Garcia
Myles Jack expected to be a NFL round 1 draft choice
WIAA State Championship Game 5 - Bellevue defeated by Eastside Catholic 48-42
WIAA State Playoff Game 4 - Bellevue defeats Blanchet 56-28
WIAA State Playoff Game 3 - Bellevue defeats Glacier Peak 35-14
WIAA State Playoff Game 2 - Bellevue defeats Kennedy Catholic 49-15
WIAA State Playoffs Game 1 - Bellevue defeats Ferndale 41-7
Varsity and Junior Wolverine Program Summary
Junior Wolverines Greater Eastside Junior Football Association Playoffs. The Feeder Program for Bellevue High School Football - Next team up!
GEJFA All Time Best Winning percentage and league best for 11 straight years
Varsity Season - Regular Season Complete -1 loss to Bishop Gorman
JV complete season - undefeated - 10 years straight
Freshman complete season - undefeated - 1 loss 10 years
Junior Wolverines 1) Five teams complete regular season undefeated - all teams advance to playoffs - Wolverines advance to teams semi finals in each class - Rookie, Cub, Soph, JV and Varsity
Congratulations Bellevue Girls Soccer! - Kingco champs 3 years in a row
Congratulations Boys Water Polo! - 2015 #2 in state ... State Champs 2011, 12,13,14
Bellevue Freshman defeat LW 46-18
Bellevue JV defeat Lake Washington 47-6
Bellevue Varsity defeat Interlake 61-20
Bellevue JV defeat Liberty 20-7
Bellevue Varsity defeat Liberty 42-7
Bellevue JV vs Juanita - Juanita forfeit
Bellevue Varsity defeat Juanita 42-14
Bellevue freshman defeat Glacier Peak 54-16
Bellevue JV defeat Glacier Peak JV 62-7
Bellevue Varsity defeat Glacier Peak Varsity 24-6
The Bellevue freshman defeated Interlake 35-7, remaining undefeated heading into their last game regular season game vs. LW.
2015 Freshman Football Schedule
Seniors Frances Haroon, Issac Garcia, Isaiah Gilchrist and Justus Rogers have recently received offers to play at the next level...Senior Francis Haroon received an offer to join the Black Nights of Army, Senior Issac Garcia has received offers from the Cal Bears and the Arizona State Sun Devils, Isaiah Gilchrist has received offers from the University of Washington, Oregon Ducks and other Pac12 schools...
Isaiah committed to Washington! Justus has committed to Washington State University!
The Bellevue Wolverine football program has a long tradition of sending players off to college to further their education and play football. After the 2015 signing period, the history looks like this - Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, Air Force, UW, Washington State, Central Washington, Montana, Hawaii, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Arizona, Michigan, San Diego Cal Poly and Boise State
Congratulations to the Bellevue Men's Swimming and Diving team - State Champions! Congratulations to the 2015 Mens Track and Field team - State Champions Congratulations to three time State Wrestling Champion - Christian Villani! And Congratulations to the Bellevue Men and Women and Varsity Basketball Teams - finishing fourth and fifth in Tacoma. Bellevue for the second year sent both teams to Tacoma and this year Bellevue is the only HS to send both programs to Tacoma for the championships. Congratulations to the defending State Champion Lacrosse team who finished second this season
Bellevue High School - the high school of athletic and academic champions!
Before a standing room only crowd in the Bellevue commons, 20 student athletes stood before their fellow students, teachers and parents committing to advance in their sport to the next level as they head to college next season. Stanford, UW, Yale, Columbia, WSU, Cornell, NYU, Boston U, Army, Air Force, University of San Diego, CWU, Redlands, Southern Nevada, Bentley, Santa Barbara and Claremont McKenna will all see Wolverines next season.
Stanford, UW, Air Force, Columbia and the University of San Diego will all see new players join their rosters as the Wolverine class of 2015 moves on to college. Mustafa Branch, Henry Roberts, Ross Connors, Ryan Gilbert and Jack Michael will trade in their flying wing helmets for their next challenge on the college gridiron.
Ross Connors who finished his career as an All-State Linebacker will be playing football at the Air Force Academy beginning next fall. Ross chose Air Force over Harvard and Cornell. Ryan Gilbert, starting cornerback, will be playing football at an Ivy, Columbia.
Ryan Gilbert and Campbell Alexieff have been selected by the Bellevue High School football coaches as Scholar-Athletes to be considered (along with 130 other athletes from 65 other local high schools) for recognition by the The Seattle/King County Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. The athletes are selected based on having "demonstrated exceptional achievement in academics, leadership, citizenship, and athletics". The 49th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Ceremony is Sunday, February 8 at Century Link Field.
Jake Eldrenkamp was named to the first team Academic Pac 12 team with a 3.65GPA and Budda Baker as a freshman, was named Honorable Mention for his on-field performance.
Four Bellevue Junior Wolverine football teams won system championships during the GEJFA Championships played last Saturday at Pop Keeney. The Junior Wolverines won 4 of the 5 championships contested. Congratulations to the Rookies, Cubs, JV and Varsity teams. The Wolverines advanced more teams to the GEJFA systems championships than any other system for the 9th year in a row. http://www.wolverinejrfootball.com/
The Bellevue Wolverine JV and Freshman teams completed their 2014 season undefeated. This is the third year in a row the freshman have finished the season undefeated and they have one loss in 8 years and the JV team finished undefeated for the 7th year in a row and have one loss in 9 years.
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