Is It Too Much To Ask?  Cleaning Up High School Sports.

By Frank Workman | Jun 08, 2015

 

I am an avid sports fan. I follow the NFL and Major League Baseball closely; not just the fates and fortunes of our home teams. Same with college sports – I keep up. (It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to.)

Both the pros and colleges give us ample entertainment, but not without forcing us to look past their many flaws.

We know going in that professional sports involve money. Lots and lots of money. If a player has a checkered, if not criminal past, we are forced to look past his faults, so long as he can block, tackle, or hit thirty home runs a season.

The players no more represent our town or region than the Man in the Moon.  The playing field is kept relatively level, what with enforced salary caps and revenue sharing (so long as nobody deflates footballs or fudges the books).  And we, as a community, faithfully rally behind them in hopes of being able to see them bring home a championship.

Hypocrisy and greed abound in college sports. From on high, the NCAA ceaselessly pounds into our brains the mythical image of the ‘student-athlete’, all the while raking in money by the billions, steadfastly doing their legislative best to make certain the ones helping to generate the revenue never see a dime of it.

We’ve come to expect that any sporting purity in the pros and colleges is long gone and hard to find.

Now comes the news that bad behavior isn’t confined to those playing for the big bucks, as shown by last week’s announcement that perennial football power Bellevue has admitted to illegally recruiting players and giving financial compensation to a player’s family.

It would take a true Pollyanna to think that Bellevue is the only school trying to destroy the sporting ideal of a level playing field (or that this latest incident is their first offense - more likely it’s just the first time they’ve been caught).

There have been recent reports of other successful programs dismissing winning coaches (rather than giving them raises), making one wonder what other forms of skullduggery must be afoot.

It is hoped that further investigations are under way by the WIAA, especially given the amount of smoke that has been generated around the subject of rule-breaking.

As one who attends about 75 high school sporting events each year, I want them to be just that --- sporting.

Is it too much to ask that High School sports remain above the fray and maintain the ideal of a level playing field for all? I sure hope not.

There's no question about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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