The Oakland Athletic League has been without a full-time commissioner for almost a year now, and sports advocates and league insiders say they have a bad feeling the school district is going to let the historic institution fizzle because of a lack of funds.
Carl Steward, a columnist, wrote about the situtation in today’s Tribune:
One of the most historically proud and distinguished prep sports leagues in America, the Oakland Athletic League, is in trouble. If it doesn’t get a smart, committed savior right now, the OAL could be history by the time school resumes in the fall.
Unfortunately, that would-be savior would require strong school district support that doesn’t currently appear to exist. Instead, the school board and state administrator overseeing a league that produced Bill Russell and Frank Robinson and more recently Leon Powe and Marshawn Lynch has been looking into dissolving the six-school CIF section — formed in 1940 — and forcing its only league, the OAL, into the North Coast Section.
Read the full column here. (A news story is expected to come out tomorrow.)
If the OAL dissolved, how would the change affect Oakland’s athletic programs and players? Is there any benefit to joining the North Coast Section? If not, what should the district do to protect the league?