Having covered high school sports in Oklahoma and in Texas, the Daxx Garman case certainly interested me. So naturally, hearing his appeal to the UIL today was something I was going to try to go to. And I went.
This is about a teenager. A kid. A kid who probably has homework to finish tonight and isn’t watching what he has to eat and isn’t paying bills and was born in the 90s. But what that teenager’s parents did was against both OSSAA and UIL rules. The OSSAA is the Texas equivalent of the UIL, for background.
Evidence against Garman was read by UIL policy director Mark Cousins, who had a memo from the OSSAA to the Garman family, indicating that Garman would not be eligible to play sports in Oklahoma again until he sat out the eight games he played “illegally” while he was attending Jones high school. Garman did not have a transfer to play at Jones, causing his ineligibility there.
The letter was issued in January.
In February, the Garman family moved to Southlake.
There they signed the famous lease, where their friend, a self-proclaimed trial attorney from Oklahoma, said he wrote the clause in which read that if Garman were not accepted into the Carroll football program, “football” being the key word, the lease would be nullified. He said he used poor language. It was language written and binding, nonetheless.
Garman’s attorneys also said he was the “subject of a witch hunt” at Jones, which has been debated publicly in the state of Oklahoma. The attorneys said he had “issues” at Carl Albert where he was a backup quarterback, then more “issues” at Jones occured. Now there are these “issues” at Carroll, where the attorneys nearly used the “witch hunt” terminology again.
What I found the most fascinating was perhaps what the Garman family was not saying to the UIL committee. Garman’s parents pleaded with the UIL, saying they love Southlake and the atmosphere it provides for their four children, who range in age from seven to a senior in high school, almost making it sound like they would have to move if Daxx was not granted eligibility. There’s no rule preventing the Garman children from attending Southlake schools, just rules preventing their son from playing football with the wrong intentions.
I tried to figure out what made this story so intriguing. Perhaps it was the backdrop with which I am familiar. Perhaps it was high school football. Perhaps it’s because it involves Southlake Carroll.
Then I realized it was none of those things. It’s the same reason everyone is interested in this story.
We live in an era where cheaters are winning. Maybe they don’t win for very long, but they still get the immediate gratification. Baseball players who used steriods still hit the home run. Reggie Bush still smiled at the podium in New York City in 2005. Maurice Clarett still raised the National Championship trophy.
But Daxx Garman will not play high school football in the State of Texas.