posted on November 12, 2010 03:54
It happens two or three times each school year. A rule is violated and a forfeit occurs, causing a school to be removed from an MHSAA tournament. Inevitably, partisans from the community involved will criticize the MHSAA’s decision and ask that it be changed.
In fact, at times like this, no decision was made and there’s no decision to change.
All that is done at times like this – all that can be done – is to apply the rules as stated; the rules as published; the rules as adopted by each member school’s governing board with the expectation that they will be applied to all schools equally.
In the extreme, some critics will shout that the staff or the whole organization should be replaced. In fact, if the stated and adopted rules were ignored, that would be a reason to replace staff or organization. Failure to enforce would be the unpardonable act.
In fact, the MHSAA staff works as hard as its resources will allow to help schools avoid rules infractions. Before school starts in August and again in October, as well as other times throughout the year, MHSAA staff conduct meetings across Michigan for both new and veteran athletic administrators on the policies and procedures of athletic administration. Rules meetings are required for all head coaches. It is more typical that the MHSAA is criticized by its member schools for providing too many communications, not too few.
Sadly, the task is getting tougher as school districts add other duties to their athletic directors’ day, or try to get by with inexperienced or part-time athletic directors who are without clerical support or event supervision assistance. All this is predictive that in future years the two or three hard times we’ve had to endure in years past will occur more frequently in years future.