Cutting summer practice time in half. Not being allowed to cut certain seniors or bring up underclassmen unless they are assured to play. Being encouraged to play more athletes at the possible expense of being competitive. What would be the response if your school tried to implement any of these policies?
Something similar is going on at a TVC East school. It hits close to home for me because sadly, it's going on where I grew up. Looking in from afar, I have some thoughts, and I wonder if yours would be the same if it happened in your hometown.
The school is attempting to put on paper what it says are basic philosophies that have always been part of the athletic program. But that seems dangerous.
Issue 1: Count me among those who agree summer training has gotten a little out of control. With 58 days of possible contact (practices, open gyms, etc.), there is hardly a day off. But the solution in my eyes is the MHSAA stepping in and changing things for every school — not one school making a personal crusade and in the process making itself unable to compete.
Issue 2: Who makes a team, and playing time. By varsity, these should no longer be issues. The best players play, athletes learn to compete and win. Others go on to activities where they too can excel and learn, or sit the bench and learn the lessons of contributing that way. In this case, seniors in the program three years and in good standing cannot be cut (and with this, I'm fine. I don't know many if any coaches who would do so). And the playing time edict — that more athletes should play more equal time — has more recently been said to be aimed at sub-varsity teams (although even then, this is something more for junior high). Either way, regulating things like this on paper is dangerous. It limits flexibility. It makes a mess of possible exceptions (What makes a senior in good standing? When does winning become more important?). And it would do more harm than good.
If you'd like to read the Saginaw News story about the new policies, here's the link. And here's a column that came in the aftermath further explaining both sides. So far, the successful volleyball and boys basketball coaches have allegedly resigned (there is lack of clarity there according to the reports).
Again, this is just my understanding by what I've read and heard. But are similar policies being discussed in your community? If so, what would be the response? It's fair to say in my sports-centered hometown, this has taken at least a chunk out of the election conversation.