Weekends, Races and a Winner

Weekends at my house are just messes of people trying to get a lot done in very little time. Last weekend also involved working out a time to go pick up Number Five from college as his “Easter/Passover” break was beginning. On top of that, he had broken a tooth a week ago eating trail mix and had a Monday morning, 8 am dental appointment here at home.


Friday started my weekend with lunch out with a friend. Doug used to work with my father at the local paper. He has moved on to the city of Green Bay but still with the same company. I totally missed him when he was back here last summer. We had lunch and talked for a couple hours. Great to see friends when we don’t get much contact – other than Twitter and Facebook.


So Saturday consisted of me walking about a mile to meet with a school district resident to discuss the budget and where we are headed and how this all happened. I was not intending that to last as long as it did but I was more than happy to spend my time hearing another person’s take on what we maybe should and should have done already and what we maybe should look at doing in the future. While I was having coffee, the youngest was off to pick up Number Five. My daughter was correcting papers. That evening the three older kids heading to the local hockey game while the youngest headed to work. It was great as I had time alone, something I relish.


Sunday meant Palm Sunday Mass with my daughter. She sang in the choir and I was a Palm Waver. Then, home to eat and change and head to my race. The 40th running of the Forks XV started at 2 pm. Daughter stayed home and was again correcting papers.


Of course, the weekend also involved a lot of basketball.


Now the moment you all have been waiting for. Drum roll! Or, in this case, roll of the die.



The winner is Back at Square 0. I’ll be emailing you to get shipping info.

NCAA Sports

I have written about collegiate sports on many occasions.  This particular occasion comes to you via an ad that the NCAA is running during the current basketball tournament.  I have to write about something having to do with the Madness and my bracket is not the thing as it is dismal after two days of play.

People frequently will be heard complaining about the cost of tickets to this sporting event or that sporting event.  I do it myself sometimes.  I have never complained about admission prices for a college game, though.  Sometimes, it is expensive for college sports but most times, it is barely enough to cover upkeep of fields, rinks and courts.  I thought, and now I have seen the ad below several times, the NCAA had hit the nail on the head the first time I saw the ad below.  It gets across the point that the monies collected through broadcast rights do not just sit in some big organization.

To see more about my NCAA rantings and ravings, check out the links below.

Division One Downfall

Holy Hockey, Batman!

Academics, Athletics and the University

NCAA Recruiting Rules Change

Facebook, MySpace and the College Athlete

Road Trip Coming

“A Matter of Class”

Teen Identity

NCAA Recruiting Rules Change

Surprise!  Surprise!

The NCAA thinks it is just like big time professional sports and has an annual meeting to discuss rules and changes to said rules.  If you have ever gone through the NCAA recruiting manual, I am amazed there are not more violations.  It is like reading a state report but much more dry and hard to figure out.

The big change this year involves men’s basketball and recruiting.  Why men’s basketball was singled out is beyond me but it was.  You are now considered a recruit as young as seventh grade in men’s basketball.  Why, you may ask?  The reasoning stated is that a lot of college coaches run clinics and summer camps aimed at this age level.  To give everyone a level playing field, the new rule as to the age of a prospect has been set up.

What is my biggest problem with this new rule?  Well, we can start off with it being hard for parents of juniors and seniors in high school to keep up with what is needed for NCAA recruiting and eligibility.  It is harder for student-athletes and potential recruits to keep up on what is needed by the NCAA.  It is also expensive to keep up on what is needed as there is a filing fee for eligibility clearance for division 1 and division 2 schools.  There is no longer a need for this clearinghouse filing for division 3 schools.

Another reason I find this a ridiculous new rule is that it only applies to one sport.  Within that sport, it only applies to the male portion of it.  That is hugely discriminatory.  If I were a men’s basketball coach, I would be screaming.  Set the rule and make everyone play by it or do not make the rule at all.

The logic behind it that coaches run clinics and camps is true.  It is not just men’s basketball coaches that do this though.  It is soccer coaches, hockey coaches, lacrosse coaches, football coaches.  You need to apply the rule to male and female sports.  You need to apply the rule to all sports, not just basketball.

Heaven help that parent whose son is 12 and in 7th grade and extremely good at basketball.  His chances of being seen by a coach who will follow him until he is starting to look at colleges has just decreased.  His chances of going to a clinic or camp where a real, live college coach will help improve his skills has just decreased.

How do you teach teens that working within the system can change things?

When did teenagers, especially those of voting age, become so cynical?  How can we, as responsible adults, teach them that working within the system can bring about change when it rarely does in their world?

Case in point, the Niagara University athletic department has made national, not just regional, headlines recently.  Four members of the University’s basketball team were charged with misdemeanors resulting for a pummelling of a baseball player in a bar parking lot.  Yes, the event did take place off campus.  Yes, the University athletic department “said” all the right things in the press.  Yes, everyone is waiting for the next judicial step.

The unfortunate part is that no one on campus thinks anything different will happen.  Even students as young as first semester freshmen say the basketball players will be at their first practice.  Of course, the University says they will wait until the judicial proceedings are finished before invoking whatever their investigation leads to.  Is this too little, too late?  Why, when athletes are required to sign paperwork giving away a lot of their rights to be able to play a division 1 sport, must the University wait until the judicial steps are finished?  And if the first semester freshmen are cynical, you ought to hear what the students who have been on campus for a while are saying.  “The basketball team has done this before”, not a person but the team.  Older members of female sports teams tell the freshmen girls to steer clear of most of the guys on the basketball team.

When will the system work?