The Maryland Scholastic Association has issued a strong message in the wake of unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of a football game this fall.
Vince Bagli, president of the MSA, sent a letter to all principals and headmasters of member schools, reiterating that such misconduct was unacceptable.
The MSA has placed the two schools, Patterson and Northern, on probation for one year after a fight broke out. Bagli wrote that sanctions will be incurred if there is another incident at either school during the probationary period.
Additionally, the MSA has adopted an "important recommendation," which went into effect with the beginning of this winter sports season: "Any coach or player ejected for fighting will be suspended from the next game."
Bagli also wrote that the MSA is "strongly recommending that an administrator be in attendance at all major home contests." But why should the MSA have to recommend that school administrators take an interest in their own teams?
There once was a time when principals and faculty members regularly attended all home contests, not just the "major" ones. The Patterson-Northern football game hardly could have been deemed a "major" home contest.
The problem is, the MSA has no real control over its members. It can only strongly recommend this or that. The solution, if it is to come, must come from the top, from Richard C. Hunter, superintendent of the Baltimore City Public Schools.
The coaches and athletic directors at city schools generally do a great job teaching and promoting sportsmanship. But why should the MSA have to suspend a coach for one game, if ejected for fighting?
That punishment is fitting for a young, impulsive teen-age player. But for a coach?
Shouldn't he be fired for less?
* Southern-AA's Vince Barnett scored 39 points in an 87-82 loss to Frederick Friday night, making him the Bulldogs' all-time leading scorer. Barnett has scored 1,416 points, surpassing Jim Dove, a 1973 graduate who amassed 1,399 points.
* Gilman is searching for a varsity soccer coach to replace Bob Demeule, who has stepped down after four seasons. Contact athletic director Jody Martin (323-7361).
* St. Mary's Laura Coakley, who sat out this weekend's games in the GBWB Invitational Mixer at Notre Dame College because of a torn cartilage in her knee, said she expects to be back in action tomorrow. "The doctor said he will not have to operate," she said.
Saints coach Carmine Blades figured otherwise.
"Laura has not practiced, so she won't play," he said. "I'll need a note signed by her doctor and another one signed by her parents before she can come back."
Blades' caution is understandable. Coakley already has signed to attend Wake Forest next season. Why risk her future?
* Kenwood's girls defeated Eastern Vo-Tech in basketball Friday, 39-29. It was Kenwood's first victory since it edged EVT in the second game of the 1988-89 season, 41-38.
* Loyola's Mike Smith is out of action with a broken hand, suffered in a victory against Wilde Lake. The Dons were 4-0 with Smith, but bowed to Southern, 63-50, without him. "Mike wants to get back for the Christmas tournament, but that may be pushing it," said coach Jerry Savage. "He should be back in two to three weeks."