Blog Entry

Why are we pimping High School sports now?

Posted on: December 26, 2009 8:16 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2009 8:28 pm

"New Jersey team tops High School rankings."  --maxsports


It's time to place restraints on the whos-and-whats which can be discussed on a public forum, before the same problems that are occuring in college hoops are passed-on to the the high school game. 

Bob Knight hit the nail on the head when speaking about John Calipari, and the state of college hoops.  People can criticize Knight for his opinions, based upon his own track record through the years --but Knight's temporate issues as a college coach never compromised the ethical state of college recruiting, and ability of all teams to pursue athletes on a level playing field. 

Players who came to Indiana, to play for Bob Knight, did so with a pretty fair idea what they were entering into --and many went there for that VERY reason.  Be it right or wrong, his problems were to do with player-coach relationships (an internal issue), and never broad-ranging ethical issues; such as the kind that Calipari has been linked to. 

In an attempt to increase readership, publications (such as Maxsports, and USA Today) are now using High School sports as a vehicle to increase their own appeal to our youth.  That is only the beginning of the pimping that rots an old egg from the inside-out; and eventually you have more, and larger scavengers hovering around the prep scenes --leading eventually to almost certain corruption.  Once a shell is breached, the white starts to seep out, and eventually, with it, goes the yoke. 

Where do we draw the lines?  If there are those of us who are unhappy with the current state of college basketball, then how can we not be concerened about what is to come for the high school version as well?   After that, what next --on to the middle schools and grade schools?  Where does it end; or should it have ended already?

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2009 7:25 pm

Why are we pimping High School sports now?

I couldn't have said it better myself --very well stated!  That 75% is what it's really all about; kids getting some space, and having fun just growing-up.  Yet, these media outlets are making it look as though it's only that other 25% that matters.  As I said earlier, when these young athletes get sucked into believing that these rankings are somehow important, then they lose a big part of the point of the whole experience of an interactive team sport.  Thanks for adding your comments. 

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2009 7:12 pm

Why are we pimping High School sports now?

Yes, VERY good points.  Of course, High School football in Texas is a horse of a different color.  I lived in Houston for several years in the early 1980s, and I was always amazed at the attention given to high school football there --and it has always been that way, from what I understand.  For those last few years, I lived not far from Alief Elsic and Hastings High Schools (you're probably familiar with those --two high schools, right across the street from each other?).  They had a nicer stadium for those two high schools than many of the division-3 college teams have here in Wisconsin.  Unbelievable!

I mainly worry about these publications using high school sports as a vehicle for increasing youth readership; because these kids are so impressionable, and the message is sent that these rankings are somehow really important. That is in stark contrast to most of the lessons that any interactive team sport is supposed to teach.  When those lessons are lost, then what do we have?   

I see your Texas logo there.  Back in 1983 a friend (a Houston native) took me to the Texas A&M homecoming --wow, what an experience that was!!  That bon-fire was WILD!!  I was standing amid all of these A&M fans who were doing all of these crazy chants --and I didn't have a clue what to do!  That was an experience that I'll never forget! 

Thanks for taking the time to add your comments.

Since: Nov 26, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2009 2:48 am

Why are we pimping High School sports now?

In my High School, about 75% of the players on all sports teams played it because they loved the sport and it was something great to do during high school, but didn't have any drive to pursue a career out of it, and they were awesome when it came to their academics.  The other 25% had interest in possibly pursuing a pro career in the sport they played.  Most of their grades were decent, with some borderline to be eligible to play. 

In my opinion, High School athletes are still just kids, and need to concentrate on their education more than being interviewed by maxsports or USA Today.  Maxsports and USA Today and all the other outlets hovering over the High Schools need to realize that the importance of these kids receiving a good education.  If i were the parent of a kid playing high school sports and stuff was being said about him in a national publication without going to the parent first, i'd be having someones head.  Over exposure at that impressionable age can doom a kid.

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: December 27, 2009 3:47 pm

Why are we pimping High School sports now?

Local stations here in Houston have been overhyping high school sports for the last couple of years now.  Personally, I don't believe that they're newsworthy; a lot of players that are supposedly "good" in high school don't turn out to be much in college or make it to the NFL.

I think their coverage of high school sports has crossed the line.  It's not good for kids that young to be getting that kind of publicity.  It's not just a mention here or there, either; high school football in particular is given the lion's share of attention in sports segments here, and there are even special shows dedicated to it.

I don't think local coverage will have the effect that you speak of.  But if there are national media outlets giving such importance to something that's really not very relevant, it's not hard to believe that what you're forecasting here could come to pass.

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