Thanks, but no thanks

Some of you might have read the heartwarming story about players and families from Danville’s Monte Vista High School — the team that McClymonds beat last Saturday to make it to the state championship  — donating more than $1,000 to Mack, so that the players could stay overnight in Sacramento before the big game.

The donation came about after the Mack coach was quoted in the paper saying he was “broke” after covering the team’s expenses all season, and that there was no money for hotel accommodations.

Late this afternoon, though, the Oakland school district sent out a news release saying the whole thing was just a “misunderstanding” — that the basketball program would be provided for, and that they would give back the money.

Here’s what it said:

The Oakland Unified School District expresses its gratitude for the praise and generosity which has been showered upon the McClymonds High boys basketball team in its quest for a second consecutive state championship. The fact that appreciation for this team’s accomplishments has inspired members of other communities, particularly those from Danville’s Monte Vista High School, to donate funds to the team is particularly noteworthy and commendable.

We thank Monte Vista and all who have sent money or other forms of support in the wake of stories suggesting that, due to financial concerns, the McClymonds basketball team would not receive hotel accommodations prior to and following Saturday’s state title basketball game in Sacramento. Unfortunately, this statement, although communicated by a District employee, was incorrect. Oakland Unified, through its Oakland Athletic League sporting arm, has made full provisions for the McClymonds squad and will not require assistance for this purpose.

We thank the Monte Vista community for their contributions which exemplify the generosity of spirit which exists here in the Bay Area. We also apologize for the misunderstanding which prompted these donations and will, as a result, return all donations from whence they came. Although we are not keeping the funds, this does nothing to diminish the gratitude we feel for the consideration shown by our former opponents and new friends at Monte Vista. We wish them the best of luck in all future endeavors and the same to our McClymonds Warriors as they compete for the state title at 8:00 PM, Saturday, March 21 in Sacramento’s Arco Arena.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • chris g

    Aint white guilt a B****!Look how easy someone can hustle these poor folks! Sometimes you gotta letthe broke stay broke cause they aint really broke, cuase histles like this exist.

  • Robert

    The coach was paying for a lot of expenses out of his own pocket and the OUSD was willing to let it go on as long as they could get away with it. He has to pay for everything and get reimbursed after he fronts the money, if he gets reimbursed at all. I know first hand how scandalous this school district is and how they operate. The OUSD deserves whatever bad publicity they get. Shame on them for not taking the money. They could have at least taken it for their athletics program if not specifically for the basketball team. Hey OUSD, stop ripping off your own.

  • cranky teacher

    Sometimes you have to shame the top dogs to get the bureaucracy moving in your direction.

    Chris G: Are you implying the coach is corrupt? Totally unfair. And can white people be generous or compassionate without being suckers?

  • former hills parent

    Would OUSD have come up with the money if they had not been shamed into it? Absolutely not! It is even more shameful that their attitude now is “thanks, but no thanks”.

    Monte Vista is in the school district that my children attend. I am proud of the generosity demonstrated by these parents, and feel shamed that OUSD did not use this money to further contribute to the McClymond’s team.


  • Nextset

    Workers should never subsidize their employer’s business. Doing so is for the owners only. It’s the difference between capital and labor.

    The moral hazard posed by workers using their cars for the employer without compensation, providing office supplies, and fronting travel expenses and other such activity is the resulting behavior you eventually start to get from the employer. They take you for granted then they start to devalue you since they get this bounty for free. No one appreciates what they get for free and that includes organizations.

    That’s why it’s against union rules.

    Workers of the world, unite.

  • ex-ousd staff

    Of course the district was shamed into paying Mack’s hotel bill.

    The team’s hotel bill for one night would take up a huge portion of the OAL’s measly allowance for an entire season of Mack’s basketball expenses.

    After they are done reimbursing Danville, the OAL needs to reimburse the coach who has given OUSD more good publicity during the last two seasons than any other employee.

    “Workers should never subsidize their employer’s business.”

    From your mouth to God’s ears Nextset!

    Teacher’s subsidizing their classrooms is where we are in America 2009. It is such a common practice that the IRS has a standard $250 deduction for teachers’ classroom expenses. That amount, predictably and unfortunately, is a fraction of what many teachers spend on their classrooms.
    Poverty is not the only reason for this. Public school financing and purchasing is so byzantine that if you need a box of crayons at 8:15 a week from Monday, often the only way you can guarantee you will have them is to buy them yourself. The success of your lesson is more important than the out of pocket expense. This practice continues because if the teachers stopped subsidizing their classes, they would suffer the most.

    Let’s say the teachers suddenly stopped subsidizing their classrooms. Eventually the schools might figure out the free ride is over and that every teacher needs to have a discretionary budget. Until that day, life in the classroom would be even more difficult.

    Of course, the provision of discretionary funds for teachers would require that the districts trust and respect the professionalism of teachers enough to give them authority over a few thousand bucks for classroom expenses. Don’t stay up waiting for that to happen…

  • John

    What a touching story about the white rich suburban loser team handing out bucks to the poor black winner inner city team. It would truly be a manifestation of Obama’s “Yes we can,” if the money had been confiscated instead of donated. No self respecting needy folk should be accepting voluntary charity in our new era of “YES WE CAN,” especially with a boat load of government confiscated (& printed inflated) charity coming down the pike!

    Chris G. I got in some righteous trouble when some righteous folk lodged complaints about my use of Ebonics on this site. I was reported to the blog proprietor who politely (and appropriately) asked me to stop using Ebonics here. I’ve been mono-lingual hereon ever since and have never looked back, until now.

    I’m not telling you what to do Mr. G. I’d only ask that you NOT take that 1996 OUSD school board Ebonics Resolution too seriously, It’s not a language for everyone and should only be employed by folks of genuine genetic Afro American pedigree. The resolution itself teaches us that Ebonics is “genetic based.”

    Obama is empowered to use Ebonics because his daddy’s side of the family empowers him to do so. His mama’s side does NOT. However, with Ebonics and politics the black gene is dominant. If neither of your parents are Afro American you’re NOT empowered, by nature or society, to communicate in Ebonics. Don’t repeat your Ebonics indiscretion, or mine, here Mr. G. or I’ll be reporting you to the proprietor of this cyber establishment.

    Please don’t rock the boat! We need all the well behaved white diversity we can get here! If you’re white your wrong! Repent Mr. G. REPENT!

  • Chris G

    Ebonics? What the hell are you talking aboout Wilis?

    I am a product Of da Oakland schoolsahh and am just ah speakingah da lingo toght and supportedahh by dahs aschoolsahh.

    Black genes is what I wear to work at wasteahh management.

    The coach is a hustler- but I dont hate the game against the guilt dealing lame is played on all kinds of levels.

    White diversity is an oxy moron mr. jenkins.

  • John

    White diversity ‘between the ears’ is no oxymoron.

    Here’s one of the best examples I’ve ever found of a ‘between the ears’ Afro American minority, the rarest minority of all!


  • Catherine

    First of all, the parents who raised the money in the ‘burbs did not want to be identified because they were truly trying to help students and coaches who played well, were respectful and who deserved to have the opportunity they worked hard to earn.

    The ‘burbs folks have money. They wanted to share the money they had, why is it so hard for the people of Oakland to accept their gift with gratitude?

    Once again, our anger and our frustration should be aimed at our dysfunctional school district and our dysfunctional school board. They are the ones who have shown their true, greedy colors and disorganization once again.

  • former hills parent

    I am one of the parents who live in the burbs and can tell you that not everybody in Danville is flush with money. Why not accept this act of kindness for what it is? Oakland residents should direct their anger at OUSD and not those who wish to help. Maybe those who are so suspicious should think of the “Pay it forward” concept,rather than “Shove it back”.

  • Public School Fan

    Amen, Catherine & Former Hills Parent!!!

    Put the blame where it really lies. Here are people who are trying to be helpful and instead they get ire and anger. How ridiculous is that? And had they not offered to help and actually provided help, OUSD would never have stepped in. Why would we want to castigate people who are actually stepping up to the plate and DOING something? Sometimes it is okay to accept help graciously and thankfully.

  • Burb Head

    The Danville town was stunned that a small Oakland high school such as McClymonds could beat Monte Vista in a high-stake basketball game. These MVHS folks spend loads of time and money developing their high school players. Ego kicked in when they lost, the money said you might have beaten us, but were still richer than you. Oakland was right for refusing the “donation”.