Thursday, August 30, 2007

My "Bad Sports about Sports" article in today's Courier-Journal

My piece on the attempt by public schools to punish private school athletic programs for their success (see my previous post with the full version here) ran in today's Louisville Courier-Journal. Their title is, "Bad Sports about Sports."

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you for such a great commentary. i can't agree with you more. i have emailed wilson sears several times and all of his responses were awful. he sounds like a whiny brat. i actually call those people uncle ricos from the movie napleon dynamite. they are the guys who missed the pass or hit and are trying to relive that time or the are the guys still trying to live in their "glory years". they have not gone beyond their high school athletic careers. let the kids play. they actually don't complain or care, they just want to play. my kids go to a small private school and they love playing the big power houses whether it is a big public school or parochial school. they love just to play in the big games against a great opponent. thanks again for such a well written article.

solarity said...

Congrats on getting in the CJ. I only wish that the CJ elected to publish it because they found, as I did, your logic and reasoning to be both compelling and unassailable.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the previous comments, I found your article absurd. There are always fair classifications for competition... some by size, location, rules...hey, rules...we need to play by the same rules? Imagine that! Competition in athletics and business must be regulated to ensure fair competition. Let the "powerhouses" play each other during season non-conference games, but separate the championships. Then the matter of where they got their players won't matter at all. And before you "publish" an article, check your facts... Male High School does not recruit, and as a matter of fact, is quite encumbered by a traditional school feeder system. No student (athlete or otherwise) is admitted to Male without having gone to a feeder school in the traditional program and those applicants (not categorized by any sports they may play-- it is not a question on the application) are chosen by random lottery. Manual on the other hand has no "feeder" schools and hand-selects their entire student body, athlete or otherwise, by application that is not random draw.

Anonymous said...

The Jefferson County magnet program allows students to choose any high school over their resides (home)school for whatever reason. The concept was to offer specialized areas of study, but some athletes choose a school based on athletic performance. Athletes may choose a JCPS magnet school or a private school...but they cannot choose Male. Only students who have come up through the traditional program prior to high school may be admitted. If athletes choose private schools based on their athletic programs... they should pay thier own way. Promises of glory and further encouragement by offering free or as they often term it "alumini funded education", to lure athletes to their private school should be disallowed. Let athletes wait til college to get legitimate scholarships.

Anonymous said...

you've got lot's of $, a private "better" education, and you want to say you beat those poor public school athletes again? Sounds like bullying to me.

Michael Janocik said...

Martin, of all the op eds you've written, this one was one of my favorites. You hit it dead center and the fact of the matter is that sports is the last bastion for demanding standards. That's why there's outrage over the performance disparity in football, but indifference regarding disparity in academic performance. I used to wrongly lament that society "cared too much" about sports until I realized that the problem was really that it cared too little about everything else. Michael Janocik

Anonymous said...

So the better tax rate in the community, the improved bonding position for a growing area, the economies of scale for services like special needs, extended care, etc. had a back seat because it was really about sports at Mercer County??? You are an idiot.

Martin Cothran said...

Am I hearing you say, Anonymous, that the bigger the public school district the more efficient it is? I'd love to see the evidence for that.

A local coach said...

Well i am guessing you and your children went through the Catholic system. Some points of clarification. Male does not recruit, as another comment said they have to go to either Barrett or TMS, or sometimes a private school and switch to public. Manual does get to hand pic theirs as you said, but hey its not that easy. They can only pick those gifted kids, and as a tutor for some St. X players who are great bright kids, I do know that they are not at the same academic/IQ level as the kids that get accepted into Manuals program. Not many D-1 athletes are also blessed with a 140 IQ as you were not. Also for fact if you take the time to read it, but the private schools are not better educating our kids. The most recent and realistic research on this was done by the NAEP. Find Braun, H., Jenkins, F., Grigg, W., Tirre, W. (2006). Comparing Private Schools and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling. National Assessment of
Educational Progress. and read it. Public and Private are the same, or in some areas (Math) Public is better when you even things up (take out students on free lunches, due to they cannot afford the private education, and many other factors these Harvard researchers looked at). I can agree with you that the behavior is better, but thats mainly due to we cannot throw kids out of public schools. And the final thing, Coaches and administrators are usually leaders and competitors. They are mainly making this complaint because they want things even for the kids, doing it FOR THE KIDS. So they don't have to push a kid when they say things are not fair, so they don't have to see kids bust their butts all year to turn up short to schools with no bounderies. Its all whats best for the kids. Is having 119 freshman (one of our local large Catholic schools) on the football team right. How many of those kids get the experience of playing and growing through sports, they can only play 22 with subs. Most 9-12 programs do not have that many players. So really is what they do best for the kids, which is the number one priority. Overall it does not matter to me. I know that when any kid enters my program they will leave a better person and have good memories of the game. I also know that they wanted to win that championshop but I teach them to understand that if they do their best thats enough. But again, it does not matter to me we just keep working harder. Lets remember that all this discussion and debate is for one reason, the kids. And not the small group that can afford to go to these schools, and as I heard another coach say "can financially afford to win championships" (not sure i like that but added it) BUT FOR THE WHOLE STATE. An old ST line, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".

:)

Anonymous said...

I posted a comment about $ side of this argument on the original post. (Link is above) It is all about Public vs. Privelege and there's obviously a lot of privileged politicians in our legislature or poor ones who are afraid of losing campaign contributions. I thought they were supposed to vote for the good of the public as a whole...not the priveleged few. And I love the statement the coach made... parents are paying for championships plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

So the "liberal" paper you disdain published your article that I mostly agree with. Are you now a liberal :) ?

Public school graduate said...

Let me add for Mr. Sears and his rebel band that if there is illegal recruiting going on then more of that activity needs to be investigated and more penalties given to the actual people doing the illegal recruiting. You folks need to hire more investigators instead of trying to harm ALL children and ALL parents who switch schools for personal reasons.

Get the guilty people and coaches, not the innocent ones!

Martin Cothran said...

I don't disdain the CJ, but I do like to give them a hard time. THEY'RE good sports.

Anonymous said...

i wonder why the goofball that wrote the article does not respond

Martin Cothran said...

Anonymous,

I don't know you're referring to me or someone else, but I have a hard time with letting people who don't have the courage to say who they are get on this blog and insult other people.

If you can't even muster the wherewithal to say who you are, then you're not in any position to be criticizing anyone else.

I realize it is easy to hide behind anonymity and snipe at people, but you really just need to try to stick to the point and address the arguments.

Anonymous said...

basically i was just reading it
no problem with anything but just was asking why you would not respond to the false statements about male, manual, and private schools being better. i think someone gave the facts and documentation on that earlier. But you still have not admitted to that or atleast let us know you researched it and it is true. You wrote an uneducated article about something your not even in the business with. you were probably just protecting yourself and kids who attend a private school who will not face the real world until college, or maybe you will pay to send them to a private college

Martin Cothran said...

Anonymous,

I haven't had time to look into it since the article ran, so I am fine to be corrected on the situation with Male. But that doesn't change my argument. Other public schools do have that advantage over other public schools.

The argument is that private schools have an advantage in recruiting over public schools. My point is that there are inequities throughout the public system itself, and whether Male is or isn't one those is not crucial to the argument. There are those (and I think Manual would still have to be considered one of these) that do have similar advantages.

In fact, I had a college coach at a Division III school tell me he had a player from Manual who lived in Indiana during high school. So tell me how that happens, and why the private schools get criticized for this when Manual doesn't.

And no one has yet answered my question about scholarships. Public schools are free. Tell me how that is not an advantage.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the Mercer County merger you will find a reduction in the tax rates overall. How can you not understand that? As for more evidence you seem to not be able to see, what are the lowest tax rate districts in the state? Can you say Jefferson, Fayette, Boone, Kenton, Campbell and now name the districts that receive the lowest amount of ADA funding in the state: can you repeat the above school districts? Do your homework next time. Care to dispute this evidence???

Mom of 4 said...

"Public schools are free...how is that not an advantage?" I'm assuming you're being sarcastic... It's an issue of "value". Because others pay a hefty $ for private education it's perceived value is greater. Offering a scholarship for what others pay a great deal is not the same thing as attending a public school provided by our government funded by taxpayer dollars so that everyone can be educated regardless of the ability to pay. Because "regardless of ability to pay" is the forefront of public education it is "FREE," thus giving it a substandard value. "Everyone" may attend a public school and I resent the parents who believe that removing their children from real society for their education is beneficial... Our public schools are considered "not good enough" yet private schools still want to compete on the playing field.

Martin Cothran said...

Anonymous,

It is not clear to me at all exactly what your argument is. If you will state it a little more clearly I'll be glad to respond.

And, folks, when you write posts defending public education filled with misspellings and breaking every rule of grammar known to man, you are not instilling much confidence in the rest of us.

I don't mind being corrected where it is warranted, but when I get a lecture on how I need to be more careful from people who won't even bother to comply with the simple rules of the King's English, it is a little irritating.

Thanks.

Martin Cothran said...

Mom of 4,

You seem to be saying, on the one hand, that public schools are viewed as being inferior to private schools for a reason; namely that they are free. And then, on the other hand, that you resent parents who think they are inferior. But if people have a reason to think them inferior, as you suggest, why would you resent them for it?

It seems to me that you are arguing against yourself.

And I confess to having a little trouble with your comment about private school parents "removing their children from real society." You can't possibly mean, by "real society" the culture of public schools. Maybe you could explain what resemblance you see between life inside a public school and the life the rest of us lead on a daily basis outside it.