Is High School Sports Out Of Control?
I have written before about rules - being rules.
Break them and pay the price, that appears to be the consensus. But there has been no consistency throughout the high school sports world, be it in various athletic associations or with individuals who have grudges with people - and fellow teachers - in enforcing rules so that everyone lives by the same list.
And it has prompted a fair amount of feedback, from readers who have voiced their opinions in blogs. Others, and I am flattered, chose to just call or write me and want to share it privately. No problem. Everyone has an opinion in this democratic society and I'll listen, but only if they're reasonable.
Couple of weeks to go and Mike Gordensky, the teacher and basketball coach at Pickering High School, will be finished serving his penalty for being a really bad boy - that of allowing two of his students to compete in a U.S. basketball tournament last year without the permission of everyone who claims he did a nasty thing and broke a rule. You may remember, he had been suspended from coaching basketball by OFSAA for a year in a highly controversial episode that had people commenting across the country. It also made several people and athletic associations look rather silly.
And, as I have said, these same organizations - and others - have chosen to look the other way when information is shared about others breaking rules.
How about this. Should students who break the law be allowed to play for their schools? Some people say no way. Others say they should serve a further penalty: no sports for a given time period. There are some who tell me sports is a second chance and part of the rehabilitation process.
And, how about the students who switch schools - and also find loopholes to rules, with the help of their teachers, coaches and parents. Lots of hanky panky stuff with no one around to take a stand or clamp down - unless it has to do with situations like Gordensky.
People say there are two sides to every story. There's more to black and white, grey too. Now, people are complaining to me that a kid who isn't Catholic has switched to a non-Catholic school and is playing sports. I'm not a member of the clergy, why complain to me?
Others are asking how students can live in cities like Barrie, Orillia, Brampton and Guelph - and still go to school, and play sports, in Toronto schools? Finger-pointing appears to be on basketball and hockey. No one is challenging a swimmer or table tennis player.
The Greater Toronto Area high school sports world, more and more people claim, appears to be out of control. I am starting to wonder if they have a point - and does anyone in the educational world really care?