The Scholar-Athlete Profile

February 11, 2014

We are well aware that the multi-sport athlete is not as common today as a decade or two ago, but the species is far from extinct. And for the foreseeable future, the policies and procedures of educational athletics will be tailored much more to their needs than to the single-sport specialist.
There were 1,701 applications for MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Awards this year. Of the 120 finalists, 75 are three-sport participants. The average sport participation rate of the 1,701 applicants is 2.16 sports, while the 120 finalists average 2.70 sports.
All 1,701 applicants met the minimum required 3.50 grade point average during their busy lives as student-athletes and all-around student leaders. All found the time to complete the required 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.
Thirty-two of the 120 finalists have been judged by a statewide committee to receive $1,000 scholarships underwritten by Farm Bureau Insurance. This is the 25th year of the MHSAA’s partnership in this program with Farm Bureau, a program that emphasizes the importance of well-rounded students who excel in the classroom.
These 32 students are a justifiable point of pride for their schools and families. All 1,701 are representative of our goals at the MHSAA. For more on the Scholar-Athlete program click here.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on on January 8, 2013.)

I try to start each new school year at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer camp at Michigan State University. I talk briefly about who the MHSAA is and what it does; and then two or three dozen high school newspaper editors and writers ask me questions; and in doing so, they give me clues to what’s going on in our schools and what’s important to our students.

Several years ago, when I opened the session to questions, one young man asked: “Mr. Roberts, what’s your job?” I paused, and then said, “I guess I’m the head cheerleader for high school sports in Michigan.”

So then this precocious student asked: “Okay, what do you cheer for?”  With a briefer pause, this is some of what I said:

  • I cheer for sportsmanship that’s not merely good, but great.

  • I cheer for sportsmanship, not gamesmanship.

  • I cheer for playing by the rules, both the letter and the spirit.

  • I cheer for maximum effort to try to win each and every contest.

  • I don’t cheer for winning at any cost; I do cheer for learning at every opportunity.

  • I cheer for losing with grace and for winning with even greater grace, with humility and modesty.

  • I cheer for the lessons of victory and the even greater lessons of defeat.