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Who Is That Man?
U.S. Olympic Basketball Team
Do people really believe that individual talent is all it takes to win the gold? Basketball is a team sport, and no matter how great our players are, they will still be a pickup team playing against outfits that have been together as units for years. Our "can't-lose" team is going to consist of many tired men; what with the playoffs lasting well into June, some of them will have played close to 100 games. In short, I'm not expecting the walkover that many are.
How can Isiah Thomas and Dennis Rodman have expected to be selected after their classless performance in the NBA playoffs last season? Their early exit and crybaby attitudes were an insult to the word professional. I would have been embarrassed to have had them represent us in Barcelona.
So what if the U.S. dominates the rest of the world in 1992? It's obvious that the USOC, USA Basketball and the NBA have gotten so caught up in the winning-is-everything philosophy that they had to change the rules. In doing so, they may have done irreparable harm to amateur sports in this country.
High School Athletic Programs
As a high school athletic director, I am fortunate to have excellent parental, administrative and school board support. Even so, there are problems that make an athletic director's job nearly impossible. We have 30 athletic squads involving 44 coaching positions, yet I am required to teach two classes, have only a part-time secretary and am on only an 11-month contract.
The days are long, the phone rings nightly, and at least every third Saturday I have to put in several hours. In addition to the roughly 250 regular-season contests, we direct many district, regional and state competitions. We are in charge of finances, scheduling, transportation, site rentals, preparation and purchasing. Where can one find the time and energy to continue at this pace for more than a few years?
Perhaps your informative article will enlighten people about the financial strains being placed on athletic programs and will help them to see the importance of athletics as it relates to academics, self-esteem and school discipline.