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I've seen the light (a prep rant)

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by mudduck, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. mudduck

    mudduck New Member

    Small town high school sports, at least in my area, have officially become too big for their britches.

    I have a teenager - good kid, but did fail a class last year which is being retaken this year - who has been kicked off a team after three years on varsity for failing that one class (never mind that other kids on that team have been caught drinking, smoking and all that fun stuff, and if failing a class prevented kids from rejoining a sports team, there would be no athletics at this school), and, because my teen has been selected for a prestigious three-week performance program in August, said teen has been told fall sports are not an option - 'you're missing the first three weeks of practice.'

    I understand there are rules, but I also know that if it were one of the star athletes picked for this August program, the star athletes would be welcomed back to the team with open arms. I covered this program for many years. There used to be a time this would never have happened.

    I'm sick of the rules being bent for some and not others, I'm sick of the mentality the last couple years which have athletics taking priority over everything else - despite the lip service otherwise - and it's probably a good thing I don't cover sports for this school anymore, it would get pretty damn ugly.

    Next school board meeting will feature a pissed off parent.

    They can all kiss my ass over there.
  2. SportySpice

    SportySpice Member

    That's a sad commentary on the state of American schools...and worse, that's the rule, not the exception. (sigh) We're steadily heading toward the world of dumbassosity from the movie "Idiocracy." Hilarious -- but also a tad scary -- look at what could be.
  3. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Give 'em hell!

    My kids are young and I have considered steering them away from athletics almost solely because of the ridiculous commitment coaches ask of kids these days. And that doesn't even count stuff like AAU and similar club teams they want/sometimes require you to participate on.

    The internecine warfare between coaches at the middle and high school level to recruit athletes within their own school is a feature worth writing (by me, hopefully). They've become so wrapped up in themselves that other extra-curricular activities get shoved to the side.

    But you know what's sad? Many non-athletic, school-related activities (like band at some schools) ask for the same level of commitment.

    The tyranny of extra-curricular activity began to get out-of-hand when I was in high school in the late 80s and has become much worse.
  4. SportySpice

    SportySpice Member

    Tyranny is an excellent characterization of what's happening. You're right. It's unbelievable these days.
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Problem is, many of us feed the beast and keep it going the way it's gone for the last 20 years or so.

    I know no one wants to hear this, but I don't care. The more we spend $611 million on stadia when there's crumbling infrastructure, a shoody school system and energy prices skyrocketing beyond reason, the more we continue to get this "sports is the be all and end all" mentality.
  6. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    Much agreed. Keep fighting. Sounds like your school policy is unfair, although as a coach, I probably would have a problem with a non-school activity (even if it's an elite camp) taking precedence over a school activity. In our state, you can't participate in any camps, clinics, programs in your HS sport after the first practice and remain eligible.

    What we've seen is that club sports end up being the big problem for HS teams.

    Where I am (I coach girls hoops), we have cooperated and worked with the other programs in our school. We ask the players to commit during the season (mid Oct-beginning Feb) and for 3 weeks in June. We don't push AAU -- we'd rather our kids play with us.

    Meanwhile, the softball program wants kids to be on a travel team as soon as the season ends, and then playing fall ball all fall. The volleyball coach has told her kids they can't as much as touch a basketball from August-October, and then wants the kids to play club volleyball all winter. The soccer program wants kids to play school ball in the fall, indoor all winter and club all spring & summer. The kids we share with all 3 sports are being pushed to focus on that sport only, play it year-round ... to the point where they end up dropping basketball.

    Now, we have to pretty much say "no club soccer, no club volleyball" from October-February, because that's the corner we're getting backed into, when we've tried to cooperate and accommodate other school sports. Every one of those teams is coached by someone who is knee-deep in the club sports program. If kids played 2-3 sports in season, they'd be fine. Problem is, they're being told to play 2-3 sports at a time or their soccer or softball coach is going to cut them (and replace them with someone else who's playing on some elite travel team).

    I kid you not. Our HS band practices 12 months a year -- takes no time off. They practice 10-12 hours a day and spend more time in the gym in the winter (the flag-waving & drumming teams) than the basketball teams do. When do they take time off? Friday nights -- they don't show up at football games if they have a "big competition" the next day.
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