President of Archbishop Carroll Responds to Washington Post article, "Has the WCAC lost its way? Schisms grow in Catholic high school league"

In an article on February 19, the Washington Post profiles some of the challenges facing the WCAC. Striving for excellence and balance in high school sports is an issue broader than our conference.  As our schools take on the difficult questions of what sports should mean in Catholic schools, there are two clarifications to the article I want to make.
First, it is important to note that the WCAC’s work with Notre Dame’s Play Like a Champion group covered a wide range of issues, of which economic inequality among schools was at best a secondary issue. I invite you to read the new Mission, Vision and Code of Ethics for the conference.
Second, the article suggests that Archbishop Carroll High School has a “dwindling” list of donors.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Last year, Carroll’s alumni and friends contributed $2.7 million to our school, marking the third consecutive year donor contributions to the school have increased, and a 55 percent increase over the previous year.  Our donors’ primary focus is on helping families through funding student scholarships and tuition assistance.
We are proud to be launching a $1 million slate of renovation and construction projects this spring aimed at our 65-year old facility.   A new track and field are also possible, at an estimated cost of around $3 million, as are other improvements to our academic, fine arts and student life facilities.  We urge all of our alumni, parents and friends to roll up their sleeves and help find those willing to invest substantially in facilities that honor our students and our vision for what we can be as a community.
The WCAC board spent months deliberating on our common vision so that our new commissioner, currently in the process of being hired, fits the league we want to become. That search has taken longer than we would have liked, because it has been a deliberate effort with the needs of our students and schools at the center.
One of the new commissioner’s first acts will be to lead us in drafting new bylaws and enforcement mechanisms.  Whether we live up to our vision will only be proven by our actions as a conference under these new bylaws.  It is certainly a hope I share with other members of the WCAC board that we will be able to grow the conference moving forward.
One of the most controversial elements of life in the WCAC is transfers.  It is worth noting that WCAC schools wrestle not only with our own conference rules but with the fact that our league exists in two states and the District, and in a region where non-public schools have been less answerable to state athletic rules than is typical in other parts of the country.  We did not invent the “wild west” of transferring, but we must exist in it in a way that prioritizes the education and formation of teens.  It is worth noting that even with an acting commissioner, the WCAC has grown more transparent with transfers this year and has denied several applications for them.

I remain hopeful that three forces—continued improvement of the WCAC; continued excellence in Carroll’s academic, spiritual and co-curricular programs; and even more generous financial support for Archbishop Carroll’s future—will best serve our student-athletes.  I ask you to join me in bringing these efforts to fruition.
Beth Blaufuss
President, Archbishop Carroll High School