Bishop Diego submits appeal to CIF-SS

Bishop Diego submitted an appeal against the CIF-Southern Section’s ruling that the school violated the governing body’s undue influence rule.

The CIF-SS, prior to the release of the playoff pairings, imposed a sanction that barred the Bishop Diego football team from hosting any CIF playoff games this season. The ruling was based on the findings of an investigation done by Bishop Diego over a flier that promoted a school admissions event. The flier was obtained by a parent of a Santa Barbara Youth Football League team and shown to the team. Bishop officials said the parent has no ties to the school.

“We submitted our appeal yesterday, and I do not know the timeline on the appellate process,” Bishop Diego Athletic Director Dan Peeters said Tuesday night in an email to Presidio Sports.

Dr. Paul Harrington, head of school at Bishop Diego, said last week the school retained the services of a Los Angeles-based law firm to help it file the appeal.

Peeters said he hoped the CIF would act on Bishop Diego’s appeal before the semifinals.

The CIF-SS conducted coin flips to determine home sites for next week’s semifinals, In results posted on the organization’s web site, Bishop Diego was denoted as the home team if it played against Gladstone. Gladstone is hosting its second playoff game against North Torrance on Friday.

Bishop Diego lost a coin-flip with North Torrance, meaning it would travel if the two teams met in the semifinals.

In regards to the coin-flips, Peeters said: “The posting of the coin-flip results on the CIF web site occurred prior to our appeal being submitted. Therefore, I am unclear as to why we are listed as the host for the semifinal game (against Gladstone), as this is not consistent with the sanction handed down by the Commissioner on November 2nd.”

The Cardinals went 10-0 in the regular season, won the Tri-Valley League championship and were seeded No. 1 for the Northwest Division playoffs. They played their first-round game at 4-6 South Torrance and won 43-9. They travel to play Village Christian in a quarterfinal game on Friday night at Occidental College in Eagle Rock.