Ill-conceived academic measures to get much-needed second look

SIDELINES

September 18, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

All right, sports fans, it's "Q's Without A's" time again.

Your calls to the 24-Hour Sportsline, 647-2499, provide most of the fodder in every "Q's Without A's" session.

So, let's get rolling because I've got quite a variety this week.

* Did you see where a panel is studying the irresponsible decision made by the school board on academic requirements for student-athletes and is expected to recommend fair changes?

Basically, what the school board did with Tom Twombly as the team captain was to ram through a 2.0 GPA requirement with a no-fail clause targeted at only student-athletes.

The board voted to approve the rule at an early August meeting when it was only supposed to be up for discussion. Like a seasoned lobbyist in Annapolis, Twombly rounded up the troops and came up with the votes to pass it.

It's scary to think the school board could act so irresponsibly and pass a rule that applied only to student-athletes and not everyone in extracurricular activities, and to tell a student that he is not allowed to fail something one time.

The whole thing was not thought through, but rather pushed through and that was the main problem.

There was no time for parent, teacher or coach input, even when new school Superintendent C. Berry Carter pleaded with the board not to be so hasty without an open discussion.

Do you agree with me that had the board not acted so hastily and had a public hearing been conducted that the discussion would have led to the academic requirements for everyone in extracurricular activities and not just athletes, and the no-fail clause would have been deleted?

Do you realize that on one side we have an Orlie Reid-led community action group asking why black students aren't taking more challenging courses, and on the other side a counter-productive no-fail rule that discourages student-athletes from taking higher-level subjects?

* Did you know that the top female on the 1992 Anne Arundel County Sun All-County Academic/Athletic Team, North County's Tonya Kolodziejski, is starting in soccer for the University of Pennsylvania Quakers?

"I went to watch Tonya's debut against American U. the other day and Penn won, 2-1, with Tonya playing all but about two minutes in the second half," reported North County assistant boys soccer coach Dan Krimmelbein. "She told me she is doing very well at school."

* How about the North County jayvee boys soccer team presenting rookie coach Cara Hergan a winning debut by 7-3 over South River on Tuesday?

Isn't it also great to see another young woman coaching the North County jayvee girls soccer team, in the person of former Severna Park and Anne Arundel Community College standout Suzanne Price?

Don't we need more young women to get into high school coaching where the field is male-dominated?

* While hoop season still is a ways off, are you aware of the powerhouses in men's and women's basketball being quietly assembled at Anne Arundel Community College?

Did you know that former all-county players Gene Slocum and Delmore Howard of Annapolis, Gene Pleyo of Northeast and Rich Riffle of Severna Park are enrolled at AACC and expected to play for new Pioneers coach Rick Bloom? So are Josh Gannon of Annapolis, who won the Dick Hart Award for character and sportsmanship, and Ron "Pops" Hubbard of Meade.

And how about former Broadneck star Tammy Brown, who left the University of Maryland after a brief stint, enrolling at AACC? Will Tom Smith, the AACC women's coach and Brown's former high school coach, coax her into coming out to shoot around?

* Do you think attendance would improve for AACC baseball in the spring if lights were installed on the diamond and the team could play night games? Don't Pioneers head coach Clayton Jacobson and his pitching coach Larry Shillenberg do an excellent job on field maintenance at the Arnold school?

Have you heard that the Pioneers will have a new 8-foot chain-link fence on the AACC baseball diamond in the spring?

Wouldn't it be more prudent to put up a wall at AACC rather than a chain fence and sell local advertising spots with the money going to the baseball program?

Isn't the way to get a wall at AACC to tell athletic director Buddy Beardmore, who also is head men's lacrosse coach, that a portion of the advertising proceeds will go to lacrosse?

And now with Jimmy Hendricks, the school's athletic facilities manager, taking the head softball coaching post, is there a chance the outrageous $300 fee to use the AACC fields will be dropped or dramatically lowered?

* After coaching the South River jayvee to a 10-0 record last fall, did you know that well-traveled coach Tom Newman has coached the Annapolis Panthers jayvee to wins in their first two football games this season?

* How about congratulations to Wilson Smallwoot for being named Anne Arundel Umpires Association Rookie of the Year by his peers at its annual crab feast at Kaufmann's Restaurant in Gambrills last week?

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