Changing times for boys, girls games would be costly

SIDELINES

October 09, 1994|By PAT O'MALLEY

That ridiculous equity proposal of flip-flopping the times of boys and girls basketball games is on the table again.

County athletic directors are scheduled to meet midweek to discuss possible changes as a result of a committee's report. The committee is proposing that boys basketball games be played at 5 or 5:30 p.m. and the girls move to prime time at 7 or 7:30 p.m.

It's not a good idea in terms of gate receipts. The boys outdraw the girls, and that's not a sexist cut.

The athletic directors who count the money know it best and are vehemently against the proposal. They plan to counter by suggesting that both boys and girls play prime time but at opposite sites.

Unfortunately, a few stubborn members on the equity committee aren't expected to accept that proposal. Their motives of pure equity are not reasonable and in the best interests of the entire athletic program -- not to mention the embarrassment it will cause the girls.

The girls stand more of a chance of playing in front of a big crowd when they play the first game of the doubleheader. Playing the girls game second has been tried before, and most of the fans and parents started filing out after the boys game.

As good as girls basketball is, it still will not draw the audience the boys do, and the boys will draw less playing at 5 p.m. because many parents and fans aren't home from work yet.

Result: less gate money equals an economic loss for the entire program.

One veteran county athletic director has said that if they do legislate the flip-flopping of times, he will resign.

The pity of it all is that most of the girls and coaches don't mind playing the first game. Why certain people love to change a winner puzzles me, and hopefully the athletic directors will bring those people to their senses this week for the best interests of the overall athletic program.

Questions without answers

Now let's get to something I haven't done for a while, a batch of questions without answers. Remember, you provide the answers or figure out the obvious.

* Because this open tournament experiment in volleyball and soccer that qualifies every team whether it is 20-0 or 0-20 has taken the motivation out of the regular season, why not save money on officials and play all practice games or scrimmages?

Isn't it great that the athletes know that their regular-season games don't mean a thing? It's called rewarding mediocrity because all you have to do is show up and you're in, better than the NHL.

A blind draw will match the teams at playoff time, which means an 0-20 team could get a chance to knock off a 20-0 team with the team boasting the better record not even having a home-field advantage.

And please don't give me that stuff that it enables a coach to play subs when the starters are loafing and teach a lesson because it doesn't matter if the team wins. I know I respect more coaches who take chances of sacrificing winning to establish priorities when it counts.

Such coaches have more of an impact on the athletes than those who try to teach lessons with nothing at stake. The players know what's going on and ask, "I wonder if he would have done that if the game was important."

Of course, the open tournament will get some coaches who otherwise would never have taken a team to the playoffs. They can do their normal, lousy job and still make the playoffs.

Also, athletes on academic probation no longer have to worry about hurting their team by not keeping their GPA up to snuff. Missing a few games while getting the GPA up is no longer a big deal because the games don't mean a hill of beans. More motivation, right?

* Isn't Chesapeake's Matt Michalowicz a great example that it takes more than an outstanding quarterback to win? The Cougars are 1-3 despite the talents of Michalowicz who can pass and run and has a lot of guts.

* With 11 touchdowns in his first four games, did you know that Severna Park's Mark Frye is on a pace to break the county season record of 24 set by North County's Frank Brown in 1992? The Severna Park team record is 20 (130 total points) by Gary Thall in 1964, the year Thall set the county season record for rushing with 1,835 yards.

* In response to last Sunday's column that young athletes not be forced to specialize in one sport, doesn't much traveled coach Brien Mc Murray make a good point? On playing more than one sport, Mc Murray wrote, "It permits the high school to have a more successful all-around sports program.

"That has always been the Broadneck High philosophy, and that one of the reasons why their program had instant success."

* Hasn't the time come for North County coach Chuck Markiewicz to do away with that hokey post-game circle with the players and coaches holding hands? C'mon now, you don't have to hold hands to show unity. Is it merely a case of symbol over substance?

* Can you believe the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame allowed a candidate to vote for himself and the individual got in by one vote? Congratulations, Lew.

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