There are continuing and crescendoing complaints about “AAU ball” – the travel, the competition without preparation, the agents and hangers-on, the sleaze factor. Yet some of those same complainers are critical of the very rules that tend to keep that sleaze at a low level in school sports in Michigan.
If so many people agree that kids and parents are being sold a bill of goods full of empty promises by a growing number of youth sports zealots, recruiting gurus, and both club and college level coaches, then why should we provide passports that would expose more students to this atmosphere?
If so many people feel that what’s happening in youth sports is bad and what’s masquerading as educational athletics in major college sports is baloney, then why should we help high school students earn frequent flier points through relaxation of time-tested travel and television policies?
If so many people believe there are too many athletic-motivated transfers, then why should we throw fuel on the fire? Those schools which could afford it would try to make their programs more attractive with national travel and televised games as a magnet to suck the best players out of neighboring schools that cannot afford the same excesses.
There is more than enough travel and exposure opportunity for schools here in Michigan and Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Ontario and Wisconsin. Any more adds impure emphases and increased expenses to programs that are already overburdened or bankrupt.
When our school administrators and coaches say that national travel and tournaments are unaffordable and “It’s not us,” they mean it. They’ve got their priorities right.
From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.