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Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Perks of Prep Football

The Birmingham News today takes a look at the perks received by top high school football coaches in Alabama. The story comes on the heels of Rush Propst's announcement last week that he would resign at Hoover High School after the season.

Propst was alleged to have engaged in academic, financial, and personal improprieties at Hoover, and the News examines perks received by other top prep coaches. But the story might be most interesting for what it does not say.

The story focuses mainly on coaches at schools currently ranked in the top 10 in Class 6A. That conveniently leaves out Briarwood Christian High School, which is ranked No. 1 in Class 5A.

Why would the News not examine Briarwood Christian? Could it be because longtime publisher Victor Hanson II is a member of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, and the school is a ministry of the church?

Could it also be that there is something about the football program that Briarwood boosters would prefer to keep hidden? Like the peculiar real-estate transaction that led Coach Fred Yancey, my former next-door neighbor, to move to a house on the Briarwood campus.

This move came in early December 1998, when Hoover High was looking for a new coach. Could Hoover have been interested in Fred Yancey and his two star players, Tim and Simeon Castille, who according to my research, would have been zoned to go to Hoover public schools at the time?

My understanding is that Fred Yancey received housing for about six years at little or no cost. I would say that's a pretty nice perk.

What did I get out of the deal? A neighbor with a criminal record and all kinds of legal headaches, partly caused by the hurried nature of Yancey's move. I don't feel too perky about that.

Think you will be reading about that in The Birmingham News? Nope.

You will read about it at Legal Schnauzer.

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