Girls Soccer Controversy Raises Some Difficult Questions


October 18, 1991|By Pat O'Malley

With all the controversy this week over a bunch of girls taking off school to play recreation soccer, a few interesting questions withoutanswers have come to light.

So, let's start off this week's session on that very subject and remind you that your "Q's," comments or even answers are always welcome on the 24-Hour Sportsline, 647-2499.

First of all, did this whole episode with 18 girls from around the county skipping school to play in the Washington Area Girls Soccer League championship in Virginia put recreation soccer above high school soccer?

In Thursday's Anne Arundel County Sun, Tom Ehart, coachof the Maryland Alliance 19-and-under team, said, "I told the parents and the kids what they were risking if they played and that decision was in their hands."

Do you agree with me that if Ehart really had the best interests of the girls at heart and not some silly recreation championship, that he would have told the WAGS officials to either reschedule it or take a forfeit rather than jeopardize the eligibility, both academically and athletically, of the girls?

I don't want to say I told you so, but how far are these soccer people going togo with that sport? Isn't 365 days a year enough?

And please, don't give me that "the girls are going to get scholarships" stuff. How many county girls got scholarships for soccer last year? From what I've been told, two did and they were partials.

* Aren't these some great questions that Arundel athletic director Bernie Walter will raise in a statement entitled "Concerns for Physical Education Requirement" that he will make to the Maryland State Board of Education on Tuesday, Oct. 29?

The state is proposing that students meet the one-credit physical education requirement by playing on a team, and here are some great "Q's without A's" for the board from Walter, who is also physical education department chairman at Arundel:

"What is a team? (chess team, It's Academic, forensics, pompon squads).

"How isteam membership determined? How are cuts to be made? How is team size determined?

"How are injured athletes, non-performing players orthose who lose their eligibility due to poor academic performance handled?

"What is participation? How much playing time is necessary?Is the athlete required to letter?

"Can freshman or junior varsity squads with significantly lower standards than highly committed varsity teams, meet this graduation requirements?"

Walter and the county's physical education teachers are very concerned about the new proposal, which would reduce the need for a phys-ed staff in the high schools. Its ramifications would lead to very few coaches in a school.

Parents and the public can attend the 1:30 p.m. State Board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 200 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore.

* Isn't the lack of enthusiasm that former Northeast High star football playerZiz Abdur-Ra'oof brings to University of Maryland football games as color analyst on the Terps' radio network amazing to those of us who knew him as a team leader and very enthusiastic kind of player?

* Now that she has landed the Glen Burnie head girls basketball position, will Patty Dages, the former Brooklyn Park star, get to tell Annapolis head coach Teresa Ross when the two teams play this year that she won't be coming back to Annapolis as an assistant?

* Don't we hope that Keith Smith of Crofton has his application approved to officiate track and field events at the June 19-28 U.S. Olympic Trials in New Orleans, thereby getting a shot to work the Barcelona Olympics about a month later?

"I've submitted my application and resume to work the trials, as I did in 1988 in Indianapolis," said Smith, who officiated Jackie Joyner-Kersee's world record in the heptathlon that year.

* Isn't it great to hear that former Andover and Boston University basketball star Neil Burns is resting comfortably at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after tests indicated what at first was thought to be serious problem turned out not to be?

Did you know that the 37-year-old Burns, who resides in Severna Park with his wife and children, still holds the county records for most rebounds in a game (37) and most boards averaged over a season (22)? Those records were set by Burns during the early '70s while playing under the late Dick Hart.

* Isn't it great to hear to that former Glen Burnie High School and Glen Burnie Patriots' left-handed pitcher Tony Saunders has had a great fall pitching for the Oriolelanders of Baltimore scout Jim Gilbert?

Saunders, who developed into an outstanding pitcher underCoach Bill Nevin with the Patriots two summers ago, moved to Howard County last year and is a senior this year at Howard High School.

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Saunders has impressed scouts.

* What's left now that Tim McMullen, the former Broadneck athletic director, hashis name put on the Bruins' new field house?

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