PHONE KEEPS RINGING OFF THE HOOK

THE BALTIMORE SUN

As usual, I've got a bunch of "Q's & A's," thanks to you guys ringing the 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499, off the hook the last week.

The most commonly asked question without answer concerns my new photo, but because this is a family column, I can't repeat many of those "Q's" and remarks.

Where in the hell did they get that picture? Who inflated you, Pat? are a couple that I can repeat, but the others were not in good taste. They compared me to a few robust sports types you and I both know, and they were insults.

What do you think of my new photo?

* Did you know the school board shot down the proposal to lift the grade-point average requirement to play athletics from 1.66 to a 2.00 at a Monday night meeting?

Was that good or bad?

If you thought itwas a good idea because it would motivate student-athletes to do better, then great, but if it was being done solely to prepare kids for college, then maybe more research needs to be done.

First of all, if the 2.0 ever became law, would it be just for an athlete's particular sports season and not the rest of the year?

And if the purposeof athletics is to get students into college, possibly via scholarships, do you realize that 2.00 must be in core subjects (English, math, science and language, not the gravy stuff)?

Would the athletic requirement then be a straight 2.0 no matter what courses the student is taking, or would it be a strict 2.0 in the core subjects?

Theseare very important issues that need to be explored.

What about the special-ed student who wants to be a plumber, wants to play high school basketball or baseball but can't get a 2.0 or even a 1.6? Do we lose him?

And here is a really big "Q" -- should student-athlete requirements be left solely up to the individual family?

Is there really a good answer?

* Did you know that seven of the eight Annapolis High basketball players graduating this June have 2.00 grade-point averages in the core subjects?

Also, are you aware that the 1984-1985 Annapolis hoops team, which had several players who got into trouble with the law after graduating, had three players who received scholarships and a total of eight who at least started in college?

The late James Butler had a full ride to Virginia Union, but only stayed three days. Steve Foley went to a junior college and later received a hoops scholarship to Loyola College in Baltimore and graduated.Howard Stevens got financial aid to play at Knoxville College in Tennessee.

Also, Mark Wiggins was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy and made it.

And the others who at least started college off that team were David Chapman, Marvin Hayes and Pete Gough, Anne Arundel Community College, and Reno Green, Bowie State.

And how's this foran eye-popping statistic -- 70 out of 91 (77 percent) through last year who have graduated from Annapolis after playing basketball for Coach John Brady have been admitted to a college and only two players in his 14-year tenure ever have been academically ineligible, none in their senior year?

* Wasn't it well-said by North County High Principal Bill Wentworth about the girls lacrosse coaches leaving his school's spectacular senior, Stephanie Meyer, off the All-County coachesfirst team for no good reason, "The facts speak for themselves. Whatelse could Stephanie have done?" She was the premier scorer in the county.

As for Sunday's "Sidelines" column that quoted North Countycoach Tom Taylor saying, "It's the men coaches vs. the women's coaches, and they don't like me one bit," Chesapeake coach Jim Buchan added on the Sportsline, "My assistant coach, Jerry Raab, agreed with me that it was kind of ridiculous that Meyer was not first team, but it should not be perceived that it's the men coaches against the women coaches."

Wasn't it classy of Buchan to dish out the accolades for Severna Park after the Falcons defeated his Cougars in the state 4A-3A championship, 9-5, Saturday by saying, "Their team and coaching staff deserves a lot of credit"?

Also, wasn't Buchan right on when hesaid, "Losing the state championship game should in no way diminish the season (14-1, including a 17-16 overtime win over Severna Park inregular season) our girls had"?

* What veteran local track coach (hint: from Old Mill) admitted to spending $30 on a T-shirt with a Georgia Tech insignia on it "to impress Bobby Ross' daughter Saturday at Annapolis High at the Region IV track meet"? Teresa Ross' father isBobby Ross, Georgia Tech's head football coach, and she coaches Annapolis' girls basketball team.

* Didn't Severna Park High make an excellent choice in naming Mark Budzinski (soccer and baseball player)its Male Athlete of the Year? Did you know that the impressive Budzinski, whose 3.45 GPA and participation in two varsity sports helped earn him a spot on The Anne Arundel County Sun's All-County Academic Athletic Team, is headed for the University of Richmond?

Did you also know at Richmond, Budzinski, an outstanding high school hitter forthe Falcons, will join Old Mill grad (1989) Mark Foster in the Spiders' outfield?

Have you heard that Foster, who led Mayo Post No. 226 to the national American Legion championship last summer, is going to play for the legendary Milwaukee Brewers' scout, Walter Youse, andhis Johnny's of Baltimore 20-and-under team this summer?

"We've got the legion player of the year," bragged Youse to Spalding and Cheverly Legion coach Tom Lind on Monday at Arundel High during Arundel's 7-0 Class 4A Region IV victory over Old Mill.

* Why can't all high school baseball fields be kept up like Arundel's? It looks like a college field.

* Are these two of the greatest managerial moves inthe history of county baseball?

Old Mill coach Mel Montgomery violated the bible of baseball last Monday at Northeast in the completion of that 13-inning game by putting the winning run on base with two outs via the intentional walk.

With a man on second and Donnie Shump up, can you believe Montgomery intentionally walked Shump to pitchto Russ Curry, who promptly banged a two-run, game-winning double (Northeast won 7-6)?

And how about Severna Park coach Jim Pitt saving his ace, Rob McCandless, for the Region IV championship game? One big problem: Severna Park didn't win the semifinal game and lost to Old Mill, 6-2, without McCandless throwing a pitch.

Should Montgomery and Pitt share the Frank Robinson award for taking a nap in the dugout?

Or should we look it at it this way -- Shump didn't beat Old Mill with a 500-foot two-run dinger and McCandless is well-rested?

* Aren't congratulations in order for goalie Tim McGeeney (North County), midfielder Christian Boone (Annapolis) and defensemen Brian Bowman (Broadneck) and Steve Songer (Southern) for being named high school All-Americans in lacrosse for their character, ability and maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA?

* Have you fitness types heard that assistant Severna Park lacrosse coach Brien McMurray has set up a strengthand conditioning camp at Chesapeake Bay Middle School for this summer?

McMurray has designed it so both the male and female high school athlete can use the bigger, faster, stronger program. It will consist of power-lifting exercises three days a week in addition to emphasis on stretching, agility and sprint training.

For more information call McMurray at 437-2400, Ext. 326, or nights at 647-0633.

* Finally, shouldn't that nasty dad who called up to criticize severely ateammate of his daughter's for her academic problems -- because the girl got some publicity and his daughter didn't -- be ashamed of himself?

Also, Pops, your remark that we "don't promote student-athletes" is way off base. Haven't you ever seen The Anne Arundel County Sun All-County Academic Athletic Team the past nine years?

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