A big day is being planned for Broadneck High School in Cape St. Claire on Saturday. It will be the Bruins' gala Homecoming, and the fans and parents sure will have a lot to talk about.
The entire weekend will be a chance for former student/athletes to return and share in the fun and conversation, beginning with a soccer doubleheader on Friday night, a Saturday morning parade and cross country meet, and a marching band extravaganza at halftime of the football game.
And just in case Bruin fans experience a lull in the action, I thought I would let you know about a whole bunch of things happening off the field around the school. And to make it must reading, I've gone to my "Q's and A's" format.
That Broadneck bunch is never at a loss for staying in the news, so as my man Arsenio Hall likes to say "let's get busy" with the Broadneck Bruin news and "Bear" facts.
* First, Broadneck athletic director Tim McMullen disputes claims by the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County that it was responsible for soccer coach and assistant athletic director Kevin McMullen staying at the school this year after being excessed.
In Sunday's "Questions Without Answers" Sidelines column we alluded to TAAAC helping restore McMullen's full-time teaching job at the school after he was about to be transferred. The Teachers Association claims McMullen was handled the same way many other excessed teachers were in that he got his job back because of the system and not through community and political influence.
"The only reason Kevin is still teaching here is that people on the County Council, namely Carole Baker, went to the board on his behalf and helped push it through," said Tim McMullen. "TAAAC had nothing to do with it.
"About 100 people from the community went to a County Council meeting back in May when it was first learned that Kevin might be transferred along with our music director Kevin Pallett. They made it known how important it was to keep those two teachers on our staff and not have them excessed."
McMullen says his brother first called TAAAC about his potential dilemma and was told there was nothing it could do because the transfers were based on seniority and Kevin was low man on the totem pole.
"They promised Kevin a job, but it was going to be at an elementary school in the physical education department," said Tim McMullen. "We, of course, wanted him to stay here because you need as many of your coaches in the school as you can and Kevin is important to our entire athletic department.
"If it hadn't been for the County Council and the board, not TAAAC, Kevin wouldn't be here."
* Did you know that the Annapolis High football staff and team is bristling over being made the opponent for Broadneck's Homecoming on Saturday?
Why, you say? Well, schools usually schedule an opponent they expect to beat on Homecoming and the Fighting Panthers are fighting mad. They feel insulted, but won't say it publicly so as not to give the Bruins any added incentive via news clippings posted on the locker room walls.
"I picked the Homecoming date and team," said Tim McMullen. "You know us, we don't duck anybody and it just so happens that Annapolis came up on a perfect date for Homecoming."
When asked if he will be ready to take the heat if the Panthers do a number on the Bruins and spoil Homecoming, the Broadneck athletic director answered, tongue in cheek, "That's why I get paid the big money for this job."
Broadneck never has beaten Annapolis in football, and last year the Panthers took a lackluster 14-0 decision. What makes the game very intriguing is that the Panthers have been struggling and are a disappointing 1-3.
Unfortunately for the home team, they, too, are 1-3 and have played even worse than Annapolis against lesser opponents.
* And doesn't the fact that the Broadneck Bruin Athletic Boosters Club has nothing better to do than to keep bringing up old business -- the minor incident when tempers flared between the two schools during the warm-ups of the Broadneck at Annapolis basketball playoff game back on March 3 -- just add to the suspense of Saturday's game?
Can you believe that the Bruin Boosters as late as early September still were crying to the board and Superintendent Larry L. Lorton about the petty incident?
The incident was squashed immediately that night by the on-site principals and administrators of the two schools, and later investigated by county coordinator of physical education Paul Rusko, Lorton and the board.
No penalties were necessary nor warranted.
McMullen and Bruins' boys basketball coach Ken Kazmarek have told me (dating back to days after the incident) that as far as they were concerned, it was over with and just a misunderstanding.
Are there parents at any other county school that would have carried on about an incident that occurred nearly seven months ago as the Bruin parents have?
Shouldn't Tim McMullen and principal Larry Knight step in and tell these parents to find something constructive to do?
Unlike most county schools' backers, Broadneck fans won't let such issues die if they don't get their way. Their boosters club is a lot like the NCAA in that they persist in reviving dead issues. Perhaps after seeing that it took 13 years for the NCAA to put the Nevada-Las Vegas on athletic probation, preventing them from defending their national title this season, maybe they thought they could do likewise to defending state champion Annapolis.
Since Broadneck can't seem to get past Annapolis in the Region IV playoffs, wouldn't athletic probation for the Panthers finally put the Bruins in the 4A state playoffs at Cole Field House?
* Really, though, with or without Annapolis in the playoffs, doesn't Broadneck already have a lock on the Region IV title with their 7-foot-4 transcontinental transfer from West Germany in Boris Beck?
The Broadneck boys and girls basketball programs have taken a lot of heat the last few years due to in-county transfers of prominent athletes.
They lead the league in administrative transfers who just happen to be basketball players.
And with most coaches hollering to stop athletic transfers, didn't the Bruins go one up on everybody by going not out of the county, but out of the country to get Beck?
Beck's placement at Broadneck is the result of one of those "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" deals. Let me explain.
The young man is a legitimate foreign exchange student, but ended up at Broadneck rather than one of the two larger foreign exchange programs at Annapolis or Severna Park because of his basketball potential.
John Keuster, the fired George Washington U. basketball coach now a scout with the Boston Celtics, played the prominent role along with his former assistant, Bob McKinnon, in placing Beck at Broadneck.
It was last year during hoop season that McKinnon told me (he didn't know I was a reporter), "John (Keuster) and I owe Kenny (Kazmarek) one, and we think he does an excellent job. We would liked to have gotten him Ast (Christian, former High Point star now at Duke), but we owed High Point a favor.
"But we may have a 7-footer for him next year."
McKinnon and Keuster came through and there's nothing illegal about what was done, although it is a form of recruiting at a public school, which the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association says you're not supposed to do.
The question is, is it right for a college coach to have such obvious working agreements with public high school coaches whereby a prospect is delivered with the idea that eventually that kid will end up at a certain university?
You see, Kaz helped deliver 7-foot Clint Holtz, who got an administrative transfer his junior year from Severna Park to Broadneck, to George Washington. When Keuster got fired last year, McKinnon moved to Niagara University as an assistant, and guess who has followed him there?
You got it -- Clint Holtz is now at Niagara. Here again, no rules have been broken but the basketball buddy system lives on.
Of course, I could be wrong and maybe Beck has heard of Kazmarek's strong reputation as a science teacher and is coming to Broadneck to be scientifically enlightened (Beck is in a science class taught by Kaz) and not to learn the art of dunking.
You've got to give it to Broadneck. When everyone else around the county has soured on inner-county athletic transfers, which have resulted in accusations of recruiting at some schools including Broadneck, the latter showed they are a giant step ahead of everybody.
It's very simple. When everyone else is putting the heat on you about so-called recruiting, just find a college coach who has transcontinental connections and bring them in from abroad.
Right or wrong for public high school sports? You tell me.