Bolsa Grande High School's having to forfeit five football games and a league championship because of an administrative, clerical error has once again brought to our attention the problem of innocent people, the players, being the victims of rules supposedly designed to protect them.
Players are made to suffer the consequences of administrative slip-ups. Often, the ineligible players weren't even a factor in the outcome of games forfeited. But young athletes who worked hard to win are penalized. It would seem more fair if an impartial group of judges could examine such situations and come to a more just decision--one in which the punishment fit the crime and the ones punished were the guilty, not innocent players. Punish the administrator or fine the school.
We need rules that will protect teams and players from other schools deliberately trying to gain unfair advantages, but on the other hand, we also need to use common sense and our basic intelligence to realize when enforcing a particular rule would be truly a miscarriage of justice.