The players of the men’s soccer team are currently facing allegations of cheating on math teacher Delano F. Franklin’s most recent geometry exam after he announced an extremely high test average.
There is an existing policy that all Sky High athletes must maintain a minimum of a C grade average to participate in games, which some said established a potential motive for the soccer players.
Jonah S. Berger, coach of the men’s soccer team, vouched for his players.
“There’s no definitive proof that my boys cheated,” Berger said. “They are some of the greatest boys I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching. They’re hardworking and honest, and I am appalled at how they have been treated by this community.”
Some of their peers feel otherwise. Mathlete Aidan P. Ryan claims to have witnessed questionable activity exhibited by two of their key players.
“They walked [into the math department], came out with a sheet of paper, walked towards the direction of the library, and then came back pretty quickly with multiple sheets of paper in their hands,” Ryan said. “It just seems fishy, like they went to make a copy of the exam.”
Ryan adds that he saw the boys enter the room at 5 p.m., a time when he said no one is usually seen there.
This is not the first time the men’s soccer team has been caught up in a scandal. Just last year, five players were caught cheating on a chemistry final. They received just a one-game suspension, which some said was too lenient. This time, school parents and members of the Parent Teacher Association have been pushing for strict punishment. But the soccer team consistently provides the school with championship trophies, paid sponsorships, and alumni donations that help the school stay afloat, which some believe has led the administration to stay quiet about the situation.
Alexis A. Luther, the coach of the women’s soccer team, said she believes there is a double-standard in how the administration treats the men’s and women’s soccer team — the recent incident as just the latest example.
“The women’s soccer team has long been underfunded and underappreciated. We have won multiple state championships, and still are not seen as equals with the men’s team,” Luther said. “My girls are simply frustrated with how the administration has handled the situation, as they ought to be.”
Principal Shera L. Avi-Yonah said the administration is “looking into the allegations” and will be as transparent as we can with the community.”
“We do not tolerate and have never tolerated this kind of behavior in our community, but we must be able to prove these allegations are true beyond a reasonable doubt before we are able to discuss possible punishments,” she said.
Despite the fact that the soccer players have yet to be proven guilty, some students have already arrived at their own conclusions.
“It’s just annoying because those guys clearly cheated on a test that I studied really hard for,” geometry student Claire C. Parker said.
Others, like classmate Josh O. Florence, are not very optimistic that the administration’s verdict will fall against the team.
Disheartened, Josh quipped, “Maybe I should try out for soccer next year. They get whatever they want.”