Sports

New athletic code is a positive step

Officials at Oak Harbor High School are contemplating being a bit more lenient on student-athletes who might abuse tobacco, alcohol, drugs or violate some other statute of the athletic code.

In past years if an athlete broke one of the rules, he or she was off the team for the remainder of the season.

We called it “getting fired” back in the old days when a player violated the athletic code of conduct and got kicked off whatever team they were on.

There was no appeal process, no recourse, no nothing, you were done for the season.

Additionally, if an athlete committed a violation in between seasons, they were not allowed to play in the upcoming season.

That is to say if you were caught drinking during the summer, forget about playing football or volleyball in the fall.

If the new proposal is approved, the first offense will cost the athlete 30 percent of the season and for the second offense they will be out for half the season.

If you commit a third offense the athlete is out for the year and deservedly so. If you haven’t learned anything after the second time you messed up you either don’t care about your teammates or your school, or you’re just plain dumb.

Take your strikeout and if still want to attend games, you can do it from a seat in the stands.

Keeping student athletes involved and connected are the main reasons for the new proposal and I applaud Athletic Director Nicki Luper for urging that a change in the code needs to be made.

For my money, school administrators have gotten smarter over the years and are beginning to take note of some of the peer pressure and stress student-athletes are exposed to outside the playing venue and are showing some compassion and a willingness to work with the kids.

One of the areas I hope the new policy will address is the “guilt by association” suspensions.

Those types of suspensions, in my opinion, border on being a violation of due process, for all you Law and Order fans.

Too many athletes have been kicked off teams for “just being there.”

Stuff like being at a party for a brief period of time where other kids were drinking or smoking, even though you never participated, could get you suspended from the team.

I even knew of one athlete who was suspended from competition because he’d gone to a party to pick up a friend. The friend, who had been drinking, called for a ride. The athlete hadn’t even attended the party in the first place as he knew what kind of party it was going to turn into. But, being a good person, he answered the call and became a designated driver.

Naturally, he got turned in. You were there, guilt by association, you’re gone!

Here’s another good one.

A car pulled up in the school’s parking lot and four kids got out, one of them was an athlete. A teacher happened to be looking out his classroom window and noticed cigarette smoke “rolling” out of the car’s doors. The athlete was not seen smoking nor did he have a cigarette in his hand.

Made no difference, he was off the track team. No appeal, no nothing. That’s wrong and totally unfair.

I have no doubt the new Oak Harbor policy will allow for appeals, it’s the least school officials can do. Hey, every kid you meet isn’t a liar. Why not give him or her the opportunity to at least explain what transpired before a decision is handed down on what amounts to hear-say evidence?

Sound just like old Jack McCoy (Sam Waterson) don’t I?

One part of the new proposal that I do have a problem with involves hard drugs.

Right now, society permits the use of alcohol and tobacco and, in some cases, medicinal drugs. However, steroids, cocaine and the infamous “greenies” from years gone by you have to have a zero tolerance policy.

Besides, the illegal possession or use of any narcotic drug should get the violator free room and board in Sheriff Mark Brown’s lockup — and the violator won’t have to worry about playing sports.

Community Events, April 2014

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