For Schools To, Rusko Needs To Be Succeeded


August 18, 1991|By Pat O'Malley

The school year hasn't even started and things, athletically speaking, are in a mess already.

We've got guys trying out for field hockey again, still no official athletic director at Northeast High and no replacement for supposedly retired coordinator of physical education Paul Rusko.

What is going on?

Not much that should be. We've got a situation where those who entertain thoughts of circumventing rules or even taking a chance on breaking a rule have the upper hand with a lame-duck coordinator of physical education.

Rusko didn't like to make waves with the coaches when he was the permanent coordinator. So why would he want to now when he's just filling in?

The board had betterfill Rusko's position ASAP before the fun begins, because without a watchdog, things could get crazy.

Already, three guys from Old Mill have tried out for field hockey and are attempting to prove their sincerity of really wanting to play the sport with girls. Give me a break.

What they've done is nothing new. Guys have pulled this stuntbefore such as the two from Annapolis in 1986. Those two guys got their shot at fame and to my knowledge never tried field hockey again.

Cecil County had a boy who actually made the team last year, but was prevented from playing in the state playoffs by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.

You wonder if this summer's softball incident in Baltimore County where teams forfeited to a girls team that included male players prompted these Old Mill guys into giving field hockey a shot.

The problem is that by telling the boys they can't play and allowing girls to play football or wrestle if they desire, we seem to have a double standard. The state rule permits those not being afforded a similar sport for their own sex to go out for the team that is dominated by the other sex.

It's called equal opportunity. Because there is no girls football and no girls wrestling, the girls can try out for those sports. Some have and have played throughout the county.

In contrast, there is no boys field hockey or volleyball, yet the guys aren't allowed to play with the girls for fear they would dominate or possibly maim a girl because of their strength.

Why aren't we concerned about a girl being dominated or injured playing football?

As far as I am concerned, there wouldbe more of a chance of a girl getting seriously hurt with the helmetand pads on going up against some 250-pounder than a girl getting hurt by a guy in a kilt.

The women coaches like to boast about the beauty and finesse of field hockey and girls lacrosse and their lack of rough stuff, so how would a guy be a threat to hurt someone when hewould be playing by the same rules?

Don't some of the girls coaches need to give the guys a little more credit that they are not necessarily out to get physical, but can also play with finesse?

When you get right down to it, co-ed field hockey is not a bad idea when you consider the number of boys playing football and soccer would not allow the male population to over-run the girls. A fair number of spots still would be on the rosters for the better girls.

Cecil Countyadministrators might have been ahead of everyone else by allowing a boy to play field hockey last year. They saw no reason to deprive himof his right to play based on this equal-opportunity stuff.

As for the Northeast situation and Rusko's position, I see the two intertwined.

Well, first let me refresh your memory. Longtime Northeast athletic director Bob Grimm was told at the end of this school year that his contract would not be renewed by new principal Joe Carducci. In other words, Grimm was fired after 15 years on the job.

That setoff an uprising in the Northeast community. Parents and students called for Carducci's head and Grimm's reinstatement, but to no avail and with no help from Superintendent Larry Lorton and his board.

Lorton chose to stay out of it, and as expected, supported his principal's decision.

Rally after rally followed, and then just this week, Grimm at the request of the parents reapplied for his job only to be jobbed by Carducci again. Grimm told reporters that he felt he had a good interview with the controversial principal.

The next night hewas told by Carducci that he would not be rehired. Social studies teacher Roger Stitt was named acting athletic director.

So really nothing is settled at Northeast, which is too bad for the most important people in all of this, the students. Let's hope something is resolved very soon for the sake of the students.

Possibly Stitt will be up to the task and want to keep the job and restore sanity to the school.

As for Grimm, I've got just the job for him. How about countycoordinator of physical education?

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