'Pay To Play' High School Policy Makes Little Sense

SIDELINES

January 29, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

Since last week's request for former members of our Academic-Athletic Team over the last nine years to call and update me on what they are doing today, we have gotten quite a few responses.

Many of you have called, and it's great to hear how well so many of you are doing.In a future issue leading up to the naming of our 10th annual team, we hope to update everyone on former members.

So, if you haven't called yet, please do so on my 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499, and let me know what you are doing these days. As we said last week, if you know someone who made one of the teams in the last decade, but moved away, please call for them.

I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you.

Hope you current student-athlete candidates noticed that our Academic-Athletic Team ballot has started running in the Anne Arundel County Sun. It will be running frequently, and you should plan to submit your application as soon as possible.

Now, let's get to a batch of "questions without answers."

* Would a "pay to play" high school sports policy work if ever implemented by the county to help curtail budget problems?

Wouldn't such a policy be more trouble than it would be worth? And wouldn't it necessitate the hiring of a team comptroller to keep records?

For instance, what happens if a kid can't afford 50 bucks to play? Do you tell that kid he can't play, or do you make special allowances? How would we determine who has to pay and who doesn't?

Let's say a kid pays and gets cut for academic or disciplinary reasons, does he or she get a refund? What happens if a kid pays and sits on the bench? Should that kid get some money back?

Don't we all hope that we never have to resort to a "pay to play" policy for high school athletics?

* Whatever happened to that county rule that all spectators at local highschool hoop games must be seated?

* Have you noticed the Navy-blue sweater with the gold logo on it that Annapolis coach John Brady iswearing? Did you know the logo is the McDonald's golden arches, and that Brady says "the economy prevented me from getting a shoe contract, and I had to settle for a burger deal?"

* Do you agree with OldMill boys basketball coach Paul Bunting that 6-foot-5 Annapolis senior Rob Wooster is "deceptively quick, and the step he takes is about 4 1/2 feet long, and a lot of people don't realize how unselfish a player he is?"

* How frustrating is it for Bunting and other county high school hoop coaches who believe in repetition, only to have the players go into a game and forget everything they did in practice?

"I knew a coach who used to say, 'You've got to box out, got to box out,' but never practiced boxing out," said Bunting. "Talk is cheap. You've got to practice what you're going to do. We practice on thingsover and over, but they don't do things unless they decide to, and then they do them well."

* Did you know that Brady's Panthers (10-1) trailed by nine points at Northeast last Friday night before wakingup to post an 89-75 victory over the Eagles (3-9)?

"They had a stretch in building the nine-point lead where they couldn't miss," saidBrady, who was impressed with the Eagles' Scott Rey, who hit four of11 treys by the Eagles and totaled 24 points.

* Can you believe Annapolis sank 27 of 31 foul shots against Northeast, including 14 of 16 in the final period?

* Isn't it interesting that as soon as Severna Park boys basketball coach Wayne Mook opened his mouth and complained about his team not getting much media attention, his then-unbeaten Falcons went out and lost three of the next four games?

* How about Severna Park's Rich Riffle firing in 40 points in an 80-76 lossat Southern last Friday? Can't you appreciate even more a county season-high total like that when it's done in a close game, as Riffle did?

In other words, it wasn't a case of a guy staying in a one-sided game just to pad his stats.

* Along the same lines, isn't it a shame that some county coaches find it necessary to jack up their players' stats, such as rebounds?

One coach reported his star grabbing27 rebounds in a game, and a check of the game tape by the opposing coach revealed only 14 boards, plus six fewer points than he supposedly scored?

Isn't it stuff like that which discourages honest coaches from keeping and reporting their team's stats?

* How about Archbishop Spalding junior Jeff Paxson's performance in last Friday's 39-38 victory over Park School of Baltimore?

Paxson pumped in 13 points, including four in the final minute. With 38 seconds to go, Paxson's field goal gave the Cavs a 37-36 lead, and after Park answered to take the lead at 38-37, Paxson sank a pair of free throws with three seconds to go to win it for Coach Lee Dove.

* Don't most coaches, whether they admit it or not, appreciate being respected by their peers?

Arlington Baptist of Baltimore veteran coach Danny Mangum on Severn School's Jim Doyle: "I really like him as a coach. Jim is a good man and excellent coach."

"Severn has the best team in our league (MSA C Conference)," added Mangum.

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