I owe a clarification to Ralph Green, Shannon’s junior high principal. I mentioned in my column Thursday that Jeremy Newsome had contacted Green in the spring about transferring to Shannon. Green told me today that he has never talked to Newsome.
“He never came to our school in our building to try to enroll,” Green said. “Everything I said on that statement is totally hearsay.” That is, he was passing along information someone else had told him.
“That statement” is the report issued by the MHSAA after an appeal hearing earlier this month. In that hearing, the original ruling that Newsome is ineligible to play basketball at Nettleton was upheld. Green’s statement was included as part of the MHSAA’s argument – which they came up with after the original ruling, curiously – that Newsome’s transfer from Okolona was purely for athletic reasons. The report said that Shannon “representatives” were contacted by Newsome and they told him he could not play for Shannon if he transferred; and the statement was attributed to Green. I made too big a leap there (gotta start listening to that little voice in my head).
I’m afraid some folks did not understand the tongue-in-cheek tone of my column. I was trying to show how ridiculous it would be if everyone involved in this saga had some ulterior motive tied to Newsome’s eligibility status. You’ll notice I even mentioned myself.
As an editor has told me, sarcasm doesn’t translate well into print.
“I don’t have an agenda in this,” Green said. I don’t doubt that for one second. I hope nobody has an agenda, and as I hope my column illustrated, people should stop assuming so without hard evidence.