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Open letter to SCVAL seniors playing spring sports

Original post made on May 6, 2021

Palo Alto High swimming coach Danny Dye wants to reach senior spring athletes at every Santa Clara Valley Athletic League high school and hopes this message helps in some meaningful way.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 11:20 PM

Comments (15)

Posted by dwdarby
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 6, 2021 at 10:21 am

dwdarby is a registered user.

Great letter Coach Dye! It is a shame that Principals made the secret decision to deny Santa Clara county high school athletes the opportunity to participate in the postseaon while all the other leagues in our area will be participating. So far, the only reason the 14 Principals have provided is that "latest of sports in CCS won’t finish until mid-June, when many administrators have scheduled vacation". Pathetic...


Posted by nope2
a resident of College Terrace
on May 6, 2021 at 10:54 am

nope2 is a registered user.

Can someone explain what decision Coach Dye is addressing?


Posted by dwdarby
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 6, 2021 at 11:09 am

dwdarby is a registered user.

SCVAL High School sports league decision (made by Principals) to not let high school athletes participate in CCS post-season playoffs when all the other leagues in the area will be participating. More information here: Web Link


Posted by Samuel L
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 6, 2021 at 1:23 pm

Samuel L is a registered user.

Two other threads on here about administrators ignoring students.(SCVAL and Sequoia) They publicly espouse how important it was to get athletics back for the health of students but when they have a chance to expand those options, they turn their backs on them.

For PAUSD, what did Don Austin, Nelson Gifford, Brent Kline, Curt Johansen and Wendy Stratton do to support the student's opportunity to finish the year with a few playoff games?

All of them are silent. Also, pathetic.


Posted by staying home
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 6, 2021 at 3:12 pm

staying home is a registered user.

Parent of Paly Alto High athlete here. These kids have lost so much already, pulling out of CCS is insult upon injury. SCVAL is not just canceling a game or meet. CCS is often a four year goal for these players. For some, it represents the end of their sports career, being their last time to demonstrate their accomplishments. For others, it will be validation for all the hard work and daily training they've put in. Canceling this opportunity is crushing.

Please remember why we have have athletics in school. It is more than just hoping for a scholarship. It is the life lessons, the social and community bonds, and in these times, it is also a key to students mental health. The goal should be supporting our students, not furthering the impact of the pandemic. If they can safely participate in sports now, they should be able to participate in post-season play.

The SCVAL board owes an explanation for their decision, and they need to revisit it based on the impact.


Posted by PALY Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 6, 2021 at 3:24 pm

PALY Parent is a registered user.

Danny Dye, thank you for writing this letter and than you for caring so deeply for the kids. Don Austin, Brent Kline and the rest of the SCVAL administrators should be taking lessons from you. Instead they colluded with other administrations to destroy the dreams of high school student athletes just because they could. In the end, no one's interests are served here. Just avoidable bitter disappointment after a challenging year.


Posted by Environmental Advocacy Group
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 6, 2021 at 3:34 pm

Environmental Advocacy Group is a registered user.

Go, Danny Dye.

What great rules for our community.

Fight for justice.
Understand the importance of hearing all voices.
Hold those in charge accountable.

Unfortunately, PAUSD administrators are not being held accountable for decisions that led to family angst, teenage depression, and lost learning since March 2020. And those who try to fight for justice are put down or, as Danny pointed out, told cliches like "life isn't fair."

Go, Danny Dye.

And, thank you.






Posted by YP
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 6, 2021 at 4:41 pm

YP is a registered user.

Real shame for the senior athletes. The only valid reason I can think of to not have playoffs is for health reasons, but that is moot if they are already playing. You can reach your own conclusions about why they decided against playoffs (since they won't tell us) but clearly they let the kids down.

Thank you Danny for a well written letter and having the courage to call out those in administrative positions you have to work with as a coach. They probably aren't too pleased to read this. Tough!

I have a grade for PAUSD and SCVAL staff- hmmm how about F-.


Posted by swim, soccer parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 6, 2021 at 4:48 pm

swim, soccer parent is a registered user.

wow. the Concernists have taken control, with little recognition of facts, significance of statistics, or balance of life. Sort of embarrassing for such an educated section of CA?


Posted by YP
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 6, 2021 at 4:51 pm

YP is a registered user.

well @swim soccer parent please educate us rather than making such a statement . Point- counterpoint like the good old days when we actually had debates.


Posted by swim, soccer parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 6, 2021 at 5:16 pm

swim, soccer parent is a registered user.

@YP sure....I'm not up to preparing a full statistical presentation, but please look at COVID deaths rates for 19-under in Santa Clara Co, and compare to death rate of virtually any other cause of death. 0.3% of COVID deaths in SCC are 19-under, and new cases have dropped to near negligible. For older folks at greater risk: we should all be vaccinated? COVID is an unwelcome new cause of death, but currently in this area, not a major risk relevant to many other causes. Perhaps that will change with new variants. Until then, we need to try hard to live life. Swimming is low risk, as the virus cannot survive in a pool (see CDC website), and competitors are low density in outside air. Hence, we should expect that anyone who wants to cancel should quantify the severity of the risk, and not act on an emotion or a newsmedia hype.


Posted by Forever Name
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 7, 2021 at 10:35 am

Forever Name is a registered user.

PAUSD Superintendent, School Board, and Paly & Gunn Principals SHAME ON YOU. Pathetic. An embarrasment to yourselves and the district.

Thank you Coach Dye for speaking TRUTH! It doesn't matter how much PR that Austin and PAUSD does for themselves (newsflash, everyone knows your M.O.), the truth is they do NOT CARE ABOUT THE STUDENTS. This secret decision says it all.

Coach Dye's Letter to the Students is spot on. I'm so glad we'll be out of this district when our senior graduates. I've never seen such lack of leadership or a so completely inept PAUSD Board and administration. It's been a full year of willful ignorance of the facts, and dismissal of what's in the best interest of the students. PAUSD destroyed the seniors year completely unnecessarily when they could've been on campus and competing in sports ALL YEAR starting last August, just like the rest of the country. I hope these families affected by SCVAL cancellation's of CCS sue the behinds off Superintendent Austin, PAUSD, the Board, and the Principals. Because just like the State of CA caved like a cheap suit to LetThemPlay, and had to settle that lawsuit on all accounts giving LetThemPlay everything they asked for because CA had zero ground to stand on keeping youth sports shut down after a year, PAUSD will lose big time. PAUSD: Enjoy that summer vacation fighting a law suit!


Posted by Charles Goldberg
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 7, 2021 at 11:06 am

Charles Goldberg is a registered user.

I want to be clear. I’m upset and disappointed at the decisions and actions of the SCVAL Board of Managers (including Paly’s Principal and it’s AD) related to the 3 season schedule and CCS participation. Their decisions on the topic are wrong, misguided, and mean spirited. I encourage them to reverse their decision now before it’s too late. To that end, a consortium of SCVAL parents have started a Go Fund Me campaign (Web Link to pay for the legal fees related to action against SCVAL. Please contribute if you are able or share with others if you can’t.

That said, I acknowledge that it’s been a difficult year for school administrators (Superintendents, Principals, and ADs) and teachers. They deserve a pat on the back, a heartfelt thank you, and a long holiday regardless of your level of satisfaction with the product they’ve delivered. They do not, however, get a pass for giving up and quitting at the end. Just like any endeavor that gets difficult at the end. They must look deep into their souls and finish like a champion. That effort, that commitment is what defines them; that is the character they are supposed to teach our students.


Posted by Karen H
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 8, 2021 at 7:47 pm

Karen H is a registered user.

Thank you Coach Dye and the other coaches, and assistants and trainers that are out there every day for these athletes. Many of you offered safe practices and other activities before the kids could even get to competition, if only to give them respite from the hours of Zoom and social isolation. Hours of conditioning on the deck, or running sprints or serving a ball to no one.

This is so unfair to the Spring Sport Seniors, getting maybe a last chance to find out just how far that hard work has gotten them, or the chance to play hard one more time. I wish we could applaud your efforts one last time, win or lose, cheering you on like a school community should.

Just wait for fall when all those administrators will be out on the sidelines acting like the biggest supporters, when in fact, they failed you in secret. Not all adults are like this - there are many as Coach Dye pointed out, trying to make a difference in all the noise.

I hope the Administration will take a hard look and "run for the finish line", "push it over the goal" or "hit the grand slam." An athlete, and student, learns from their mistakes, picks themselves up and tries again. PAUSD, you have time to try again.


Posted by Staying Young Through Kids
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2021 at 12:27 pm

Staying Young Through Kids is a registered user.

I'm thrilled that High School athletics are back in swing! My kids are LOVING it!

A question for Coach Dye, Principals Klein and Stratton, and Dr. Austin:

If kids and their parents are comfortable being back on the field, back in the pool, and back on the court, and our teams all have full rosters, then why are there so many EMPTY classrooms at Paly and Gunn?

If our administration, teachers, coaches, and parents were to exert as much energy getting their kids back into the classroom, there would be a lot more in-person learning.

Why isn't that happening?

Our energy is pointed at athletics championships, but not filling classrooms?

Is it Dr. Austin? Superintendent Austin? Or should we just call you "Coach"?


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