Football is an original high school sport. It is one of the first sports sponsored that was by schools even before the MHSAA existed as an organization.
Because football started in schools, not communities, football has been the high school sport least affected by non-school sports programs. Until now.
Non-school seven-on-seven football threatens interscholastic football. Commercialized seven-on-seven football threatens to do to interscholastic football what AAU types have done to basketball, and other entities have done to volleyball, soccer and other school sports.
A national committee was convened last year to address seven-on-seven football. It recognized problems but could only wring its hands regarding solutions.
I’d like to see the MHSAA convene representatives of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association and the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association to mine for more meaningful responses in Michigan.
A limited number of days of seven-on-seven football involving school coaches and their students is already permissible during the summer. If more days were allowed in the summer under tightly controlled circumstances (read “non-commercial”), would this tend to improve the environment of seven-on-seven football? Would it also help to allow a few days of seven-on-seven football practice and play in the spring? Or would that hurt the spring sports programs of schools?
Can we learn from what happened in non-school basketball and discern a different game plan for non-school football if we now respond differently (and more quickly!) for football than we did for basketball 20-30 years ago?