It’s time for high school sports to do the right thing

Here’s a question: Is doing the right thing always the right thing to do, or only when it’s convenient? I would like to put that question to the principals and athletic directors of area high schools.

It seems to be a national trend these days, but I bring this up because of incidents at local schools in which student athletes displayed bad sportsmanship, angrily throwing their equipment on the ground to show their displeasure or yelling at referees.

It was a significant enough violation to get one student suspended, but the problem was that the school administrators didn’t suspend the kid there and then.

They put the suspension off until later because there was an important game or match coming up and they apparently didn’t want to hurt the team’s chances for a victory by removing a key player. What would happen if the student athlete behaved that way in the classroom? For sure the student would be suspended.

I know for a fact that some public and private school student athletes are walk- private school student athletes are walking out on their class if there is a test and the athletic directors let them get away with it.

In many cases, student athletes are caught blatantly cheating on tests and the teachers tell the administration, but they wait to do anything to the kid until after the big games are played or the playoffs are over. The suspensions were delayed and, in some cases, some of the parents of team members even objected to any suspension or any punishment at all because they thought it was no big deal and they didn’t want to harm the team.

One of the biggest problems in the end is the fact that the coaches are paid, hired and fired based on the records of their top sports teams, so their very livelihood often depends on making sure that their best athletes play at any cost.

More and more we see schools doing this sort of thing, and it’s easy to understand their motivation. But the main job of schools of any kind, public or private, is to educate — to teach. When principals and athletic directors put expediency ahead of ethics, what kind of a lesson are they teaching our kids? That morals and ethics don’t count and that “doing the right thing” is just an empty phrase?

Wouldn’t it be better to teach them that actions have consequences and that they, and the adults in charge of them, need to follow basic ethical guidelines? If a suspension caused by a violation hurts a team’s chances, then maybe that’s an important lesson the students (and parents) need to learn to encourage better behavior.

Sure, these are just games, just high school sports activities. But the lessons kids learn now will stay with them for the rest of their lives. As they grow up and mature, and evolve into families, businesses or even politics, do we really want them instilled with the idea that ethics is something they should only worry about when it’s convenient?

High school sports are often touted as being character building. Isn’t ethical behavior an important part of character? Isn’t “doing the right thing” right?

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  1. It is time for 3Ps rental or lease agreements of the numerous Private Sports Leagues with MDC to be enforced….
    November 12, 2013 To Agents of Record, Coaches, Administrators, violence Over the past six months there have been an unusual high number of reported incidents of spectator misconduct. These incidents include spectator verbal and physical abuse (fighting) between each other and towards the game officials and site personnel. This type of behavior has no place in the game and will not be condoned. This behavior must cease immediately. Since spectators are not registered members of FYSA and at times their identity or team affiliation is not known, FYSA will hold all coaches and managers listed on the game day rosters, individually and jointly responsible for the behavior of all “spectators” identified with their team. Effective immediately, any reported misconduct documented in either a game report or report from a site director, field marshal etc. will result in the entire staff (coaches and manager) of the team as listed on the game roster receiving game(s) suspension. The number of games will be assessed based on the seriousness of the incident. Coach(s), it is your full responsibility to control the spectators. I recommend that all coaches and managers have a heart to heart discussion with your parents and spectators or face the consequences of suspensions. The violence must stop. Respectfully yours, Marino Torrens President Florida Youth Soccer


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