Schools, CIF Southern Section Head to Arbitration over League Switches
Four schools under the administration of the CIF Southern Section - Ventura St. Bonaventure, Westlake Village Oaks Christian, La Verne Damien and Glendora St. Lucy's – will head to binding arbitration to resolve their dispute over forced league changes. The arbitration is part of an agreement that ended a lawsuit filed by the schools when their final internal appeals were rejected.
The schools are being forced to join leagues made up of only private schools due to the superior funding and resources the private schools bring to their football programs. All four schools routinely dominate against the public schools in their current leagues, leading to complaints about fairness. The CIF decided the best way to equalize the playing field would be to keep private and public schools separated during regular season play.
The schools have protested not only on grounds of fairness, but because they will suffer real losses in terms of increased expense due to longer travel times and more frequent overnight stays for the teams, but also due to loss of prestige by being shifted to less popular leagues. The arbitration is being conducted individually for each school, so there will be four binding decisions issued.