Keeler: Jake Rubley isn’t playing football. Highlands Ranch is. There’s a lesson in there, as one family’s learning the hard way.

There’s a lesson in there, somewhere. It’s October. Highlands Ranch is playing football. Jake Rubley isn’t.

“It’s not final,” T.J. Rubley, the former Falcons football coach, NFL quarterback and father of Jake, said Tuesday. “Now we’ve got our turn to go on the offensive. We’re still putting a plan together there.”

The Rubleys’ first plan more or less went kablooey last week. Even before CHSAA had initially punted on fall football, the Rubley family in August decided to punt on Colorado. T.J., an Iowa native, applied for a brokerage license in the Hawkeye State. He’d work remotely while Jake, 247Sports’ No. 1 Colorado recruit in the Class of 2021, decided to transfer from Highlands Ranch to West Des Moines Valley, one of the biggest programs in a small state.

Colorado prep football was in limbo, Iowa was chugging full-speed ahead for a fall season and Jake, who’d already committed to Kansas State, planned on enrolling early with the Wildcats.

The younger Rubley got three games in at Valley — throwing for 507 yards with three scores and two picks — before the Iowa High School Athletic Association pulled the plug on Sept. 23. Jake was ruled ineligible, his intentions torpedoed.

The Rubley family contends that they were unfairly dogged, that other COVID-19 football evacuees from Colorado and neighboring states were allowed to parachute in and play immediately without reproach. They felt that Jake’s name and T.J.’s fame — Dad appeared in 10 NFL games from 1993-95, starting seven — made them easy targets.

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But an administrative law judge disagreed, deciding last Wednesday to uphold the organization’s ruling. He told the family attorney that it was, in part, because Jake had told The Post’s Andy Yamashita in August that he “100%” would’ve finished school in Colorado if fall football was being played here. And because Jake was 18 at the time he enrolled at Valley, the judge asserted, his actions were those of a consenting adult.

“What choice did (my son) have?” the elder Rubley countered. “He’s not going there to take a job with Google. He’s not there to work with Merrill. He’s an 18-year-old kid moving with his family. He had no choice in the matter. He had no choice in the matter at all.”

There’s a lesson in there, somewhere. You feel bad for Jake, although he’s still got a free ride to join the Wildcats in a few months, even if he never plays another down of prep football.

It’s supposed to be about what’s good for the kids, isn’t it? Funny how, whenever adults start digging their fingers in, poking at loopholes, everything starts to stink.

Iowa’s rules regarding residency are pretty clear. Unless they’re divorced, separated or widowed, your parents can’t have two homes — let alone two in two different states. The Rubley family’s maintained their house here while renting in Des Moines, T.J. said, while looking to build a new residence in central Iowa and establish deeper roots.

Dad’s been splitting his weeks between Denver and central Iowa for a few months …read more

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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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