Should We Continue To Ignore 'Open Gym' Restrictions?


Some Questions To Ponder At Your Leisure

September 30, 1990|By PAT O'MALLEY

Every once in a while, sports fans, I try to give you a Sunday brunch of "Q's and A's."

If you care to respond to any of today's "Questions without Answers" just give me a call on the 24-Hour Sportsline, 647-2499. Maybe you have a comment or "Q" of your own; whatever, give me a buzz. You know I love to hear from you guys.

* How many of you parents out there know that in "open gyms," which opened this week in county high schools, coaching by anyone on the school basketball staffs is not allowed?

In my opinion, all basketball coaches should not be allowed in the school gym on "open gym" nights or change the rule and let them coach now instead of waiting until Nov. 15 to begin winter practice and tryouts.

Believe me, several schools violate the current rules, which is not fair to those who abide by the guidelines.

It's also not fair to the border-line basketball players who are playing a fall sport and feel obligated to attend open gym in the evenings after participating in their fall team practice.

These particular kids really have an unfair disadvantage. How's a kid to find the time to go to his fall team practice, eat and go to open gym when he or she has homework to do?

Aren't those who in a sly way get the word out to their prospective basketball players that it is important to come to open gym so the coaches can watch them, actually giving those who do come out preference by in essence holding early tryouts?

What about the borderline kid who is having trouble in school and needs to spend more time with his books rather than going to open gym for an hour or two in the evening? Is it fair that he later gets cut the first or second week of tryouts (after they officially start on Nov. 15) because he's behind those who have been coming to open gym?

You parents should know that coaching of any kind or organizing workouts is prohibited until Nov. 15. If your school's basketball staff is doing that or making open gym mandatory, call your principal or give me a call.

I would love to hear from you on that because I know, not think, that certain schools have been circumventing the rules like this for a long time, and it's time it stopped for the sake of the kids.

Those who do violate the rules put their team in jeopardy of being disqualified from the state playoffs.

Any coach who can't get his high school hoop team ready from Nov. 15 on ought to give it up. Of course, if we are to continue overlooking those schools that do violate or circumvent the rules, then let's get rid of that Nov. 15 starting date and allow them to start any time they want.

Isn't it time we stopped being so hypocritical about such things?

* Will fear ever return to our kids or will our lawsuit-conscious mindset among parents never again permit student-athletes to be properly disciplined because county coaches fear getting sued or getting into trouble?

* Do Montgomery County school football teams do so well year in and year out in the state high school playoffs because their head coaches are the highest paid with base salaries of $4,616?

* Did you know the National American Legion Champion Mayo Post No. 226 team of Bernie Walter is going to be honored by the Baltimore Orioles prior to tomorrow night's Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays 7:35 p.m. game at Memorial Stadium?

And as we told you recently the Mayo team will be honored with all expenses paid at an upcoming World Series game. Guess who's going to present the awards to Walter, staff and players?

His excellence, the baseball commish, Fay Vincent, will do the presenting and hand-shaking that night.

By the way, with Mayo coaches Tut O'Hara and Warren Young not having their airfare costs picked up on the National American Legion tab, who will pay for their gas to the stadium tomorrow night, or will they be able to bum a ride with one of the coaches in Walter or Will Trinidad?

When is Walter and his Mayo contingent going to hear from Congressman Tom McMillen to set up lunch with the former left-handed Yale first baseman who lives at the Rose Garden on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C.?

Also, when is the Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association and its gala Tops in Sports chairman Frank Sliwika going to put Mayo on the dais for the prestigious Tops January banquet?

* Isn't former Old Mill and Florida International star pitcher Dennis Wiseman, who starred in the St. Louis Cardinals' organization this past summer, an athlete to be emulated in that he is finishing up his academic requirements at the U. of Maryland, College Park this fall in order to get his criminal justice sheepskin?

Won't that kind of determination to take care of unfinished business one day put Wiseman in the big show?

* Have you heard that former county high school football players Pete Medhurst (Southern of Harwood) and Pat Overton (Arundel) are the high school football broadcast duo for Q-105 FM Radio in Pocomoke on the Eastern Shore?

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