January 27, 2009
Like most people I was disgusted by the coach of the Covenent Christian Girls basketball team that beat Dallas Academy 100-0. He allowed them to run up the score and then had the nerve to refuse to apologize for it, saying it would be a slap against his girls for playing the game the way it should be played and with integrity.
He was fired by the school for his actions and lack of sportsmanship.
Funny thing is, it reminded me that in 1916, Georgia Tech beat Cumberland College from Lebanon, Tennessee 222-0 in a football game, apparently payback for Cumberland’s baseball team beating Tech 22-0 earlier that summer.
The Irony is that the coach of Georgia Tech was John Heisman, for whom the Heisman trophy is presented each year to the outstanding college football player in the country.
So have times change? Is football different than basketball? Maybe, but the common element in all of this is the coach. The coach is the one who either feeds or calls off the “dogs”, and by doing so sets an example for his players and the legacy that he leaves behind.
Despite all his wins, I’ve never had much respect for John Heisman. His legacy was stamped 222-0, and tells me he couldn’t control himself.
January 19, 2009
I did an interview the other day with the outgoing executive director of the TSSAA, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, which is the governing body for all of high school athletics in the state of Tennessee.
Ronnie Carter is retiring after 23 years as the director and 42 years overall as a coach and administrator in the school system. He told me that one of the most disturbing issues that he has to face is the growing number of parents who either move or actually get divorced in order for their son or daughter to be able to enroll and play at a high school of their choice that’s not in their district.
By divorcing, one parents stays in the original house and the other moves into the new district. He went on to tell me that he got involved in a case where five sets of parents, who’s kids had played basketball together on AAU teams, all got together and decided that they wanted their sons to play on the same high school team. So two of the parents moved and three got divorces so they all enrolled at the same school at the same time. The trouble, for me is that the new coach let them.
As Ronnie put it, the job of the TSSAA is to set minimal guidelines. He said it was up to the coaches and principles to expand and enforce those standards.
The problem, Ronnie said, is that you can’t enforce morality. If winnning is all that matters to a coach, then nothing else matters.