The Inmates are Running the Asylum
by Dave Pickren
May 16, 2000
OK. Short and Sweet.
What can we do about the morons that continually run the High School League like it is their own private sanctum and treat the fans and media like we are unworthy of their time or attention?
The arrogance of the SCHSL is astounding. Every decision that is made is questionable and self-serving. The manner in which they treat the press and everyday fans is unacceptable. These guys make the NCAA look like the Boy's Choir.
Make no mistake about it, this has been going on for years and will continue until the program is scrapped and replaced with something that works. As I read Dan Scott's wonderful article in the Seneca newspaper yesterday, not one word written shocked or even surprised me. In fact all I did was shake my head and say: "Yep, heard that before" As Mr. Scott so eloquently said "Smug. Arrogant. Self-centered. Unrepentant. Egotistical. Confrontational. Petty...the list goes on and on." That describes the SCHSL in a sentence. And it is time for a change.
Let's look at the foul ups of SCHSL in just the past few months. Who can ever forget the wonderful leadership and even handed approach the SCHSL showed during realignment. (Sarcasm mode off) Every coach in the state was left scratching his head as a result of the lame brained ideas of the realignment. The Coaches realignment committee would meet and submit ideas or plans and then out of left field, the SCHSL would make a completely different plan that was nothing like the coach's ideas. In 4A we went from 6 team regions to 8 team regions, from 8 regions to 7 regions and teams went from 3A to 4a and vice versa like a yo-yo. Which describes the people who wrote the plan. Yo-Yos.
Then we have the basketball playoffs. Here is a good idea, Clemson and Carolina will be playing in the ACC and SEC men's basketball tournaments respectively on the second Friday of March so lets schedule opposite those games the 4A championship games. Great idea guys. The biggest college basketball weekend of the year and I am supposed to leave my 2 TVs and go watch high school. Brilliant move, Einstein.
Of course the spring sports and the bracket system used in the playoffs outdoes that.
4 teams get byes in the upstate for the 4A boy's soccer but only 2 get byes in the lower state. Games scheduled on Saturday, May 7, the same day as the SATs. No conflicts there . . . the heck with the SAT's. They are not as important as compared to the third round of the playoffs.
In previous years, teams have forfeited games rather than miss the High School Prom since the SCHSL has scheduled playoff games on Friday and Saturday nights during the prom season.
Even the coaches can't keep up with it. A few years ago I attended a baseball game in Bamberg. After the game that was won by Swansea, the PA Announcer stated that Swansea would be playing in the winners bracket Monday night against Bishop England at Swansea and that Bamberg would be playing the loser of that game also on Monday night at Bamberg. This was the official release from the SCHSL. Better not lose on Monday in Swansea because you just forfeited a game at the same time in Bamberg. Both teams and all the fans left that night not knowing who played who, where, or when. Brilliant move, Einstein.
My point can be proven in 4 words.
FOOTBALL PLAYOFF POINT SYSTEM
Anyone want to argue with me on that one?
But despite all these faults, the attitude of the SCHSL is the most unbearable. The problem starts at the top and that is where it must be addressed. Ronnie Matthews may be a good man and have a good reputation as a coach and administrator but his organization stinks. The SCHSL should be investigated fully and reorganized to better serve their constituents. Cleaning house from the top to the bottom and starting over would be the best place to begin. Name me one thing the SCHSL does that is good and handled correctly and I will apologize but from Football Championships to officials to other sports and the archaic 1950's rules that are intermittently enforced in a inconsistent way, the SCHSL proves that they are unable and incompetent.
The organization is a sham; the leaders are pious. It needs to be disbanded.
How do we do this?
· Call your local newspaper and have your sports editor do an investigative piece on the wrongs of the SCHSL.
· Call your state legislature and have him or her look into placing the SCHSL under the control of the Department and Education and FORCE them to answer to someone. In 32 states, high school athletics are under the direct control of the State Legislature or an appointed body of the legislature.
· Send Governor Hodges a letter explaining your disdain for the SCHSL and ask to him to launch an investigation into the weasels and why they are allowed to act this way and not have to answer to anyone.
· Finally call your Athletic Director and tell him about the SCHSL and your problem with them. If enough people complain at least someone will start to ask questions and changes could be made.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars run through the SCHSL every year. Their rules and decisions decide winners and losers and even who is allowed to play. The organization is broke. Time to fix it.