Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

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Archive for November 5th, 2009

My Massachusetts football ban gets support from a stripper-friendly judge

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Because I’ve written so often about fights and incident involve youth football in Massachusetts, I recently called for a ban on all football in the, up to and including the New England Patriots.

I have an ally in my quest: Judge Frances A. McIntyre, a Suffolk Superior Court judge previously lauded for ruling in favor of giving strippers their fair share of the bucks that are tucked.

From the Boston Globe:

Struggling to preserve their program and national prominence as a Pop Warner power, the Dorchester Eagles [Nov. 2] lost a preliminary legal effort to permit their undefeated Midget team to compete for local, regional, and national titles.

The Eagles argued in Suffolk Superior Court that the Midget team should not be subject to a three-year ban from postseason play the program incurred after its Junior Midgets brawled with a rival team from Rhode Island last December during Pop Warner Super Bowl week at Disney World. The Eagles have sent teams to the national championships seven of the last eight years.

Punish the teenaged Junior Midgets, not the 11- and 12-year-old Midget players who were not involved in the melee, the Eagles argued.

But they failed to persuade Judge Frances A. McIntyre to issue a preliminary finding that Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., which governs nearly 7,000 teams nationwide, inappropriately applied the three-year ban to all six teams in the Dorchester program.

“My greatest congratulations to the [Midget] team for their performance this season,’’ McIntyre said, “but I can’t change the outcome that was set in place nearly a year ago because that would not be right, fair, and just.’’

Judge, your next ruling should disallow Bill Belichick from crossing state lines. Just because.

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Written by rkcookjr

November 5, 2009 at 10:50 pm

School sports returns to Grove City, Ohio, despite its world-famous skinflints

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3254861927_a2f3e3262aYou here all this talk about “green shoots” in the desolate landscape that is our economy. So perhaps the greenest shoots are sprouting in Grove City, Ohio, America’s poster child for the desolate landscape that is the school sports economy.

Voters in the South-Western City Schools district, Ohio’s sixth-largest, on Nov. 3 passed — barely — a tax levy that the system said was necessary to keep extracurricular activities, including sports. Barely, as in 50.53 percent for to 49.47 percent against. But that was better than the 50.8-49.2 loss suffered Aug. 4, and previous votes in the 56-44 range. The turnout was 38,000 votes on Nov. 3 — about 6,000 more than for the Aug. 4 tax referendum.

After that Aug. 4 vote, the school board got South-Western, located in southwestern portion of the city of Columbus and nearby suburbs, unwanted national attention by canceling all extracurricular activites. The day after the Nov. 3 election, the school board, looking at $18 million they didn’t have previously, unanimously approved the contracts for 43 basketball, wrestling, swimming and gymnastics coaching positions, the day after the election, according to ThisWeek Community Newspapers in Columbus. The Ohio State High School Athletic Association is even waiving rules to allow athletes who transferred to other schools to come back without penalty. (The OSHAA has done this for other school districts that have dropped, then reinstated sports.)

I think it’s safe to say that after articles in USA Today, Sports Illustrated and other national press depicting the anti-tax voters of South-Western as the Grinch Who Stole Sports and the despondent athletes as Cindy Lou-Whos who weren’t going to see the good side of having no roast beast, a lot of voters were shamed into approving the levy, which adds $227 a year for every $100,000 of assessed property value.  (The amount of the levy requested was also slightly smaller than August’s request.)

Also, there probably were voters who, with the housing market bad enough, did not want to someday not be able to sell their house because South-Western had gotten a reputation as a place that hates children and hates schools.

My late father was as anti-tax as they come, but he (often grudingly) voted for every tax levy that was offered for schools, in part because his own children would benefit, but mainly because he knew that his property values were tied to the value of the school system. He might not have liked paying more taxes, but in his cost-benefit analysis he figured that was less than the property value hit he would take for a “no” vote.

It’s not a total happy ending for South-Western’s involved children. The school reinstated sports, but it also installed a pay-to-play system. According to ThisWeek, “[h]igh school athletics will cost $150 per participant per sport. Marching band will cost $100. Middle school athletics will cost $75 and clubs $20.”

Written by rkcookjr

November 5, 2009 at 10:37 pm