Parents running out of time to stand up for athletes

Something that is extremely important, but I'm afraid is being shoved onto the back burner, leads off today's session of questions without answers.

Are parents going to sit back and wait for the grade-point average controversy to boil over and then try to do something about it? Will it be too late after some veteran athlete challenges himself with a tough course, fails and is declared academically ineligible?


Should parents be calling the Board of Education at (410) 224-5000 and expressing their concerns?

A discussion on the proposed 2.0 GPA and its related requirements for participation in high school athletics took place Wednesday at the Board of Education. No vote was taken, but could be on Oct. 21.


The new proposal was put on the table by the board in August and is to be implemented in January, but a 10-member committee formed to study it wants it rewritten. That committee compiled statistics showing that 61 percent of black male athletes in county high schools would be ineligible under the new guidelines.

Basically the new proposal lifts the current 1.6 GPA requirement, which is for everyone participating in extracurricular activities and not just athletes, to a 2.0 for athletes only. In addition, the new policy includes a no-fail clause and a 20-day probationary period for student-athletes to raise their grades.

Under the current policy, one failing grade does not necessarily make a student-athlete ineligible, and athletes are allowed to practice during what is a 15-day probation. The new policy says no practice or play during the 20 days of probation.

It was recommended by the committee Wednesday that the board pass the 2.0 GPA but drop the no-fail and no-practice 20-day probationary period clauses. Coaches and faculty can accept the probation period, but want the athletes to be able to practice.

What puzzles a lot of coaches and teachers is why all the stiff penalties are being aimed at the athletes when schools are discovering that the majority of students on the ineligible list are not athletes.

* Have you heard that Dennis Thiele, already the| Chesapeake-AAC softball coach, is taking the reins of the varsity girls basketball team this winter?

* Will the streak Annapolis JV football coaches Tom Newman and Lance Evans are on ever end? The Panthers' JV football team is 6-0 after a 35-0 shellacking of Glen Burnie on Thursday despite missing several starters due to injuries.

Last fall, Newman and Evans led the South River JV to a 10-0 record, so that's 16 in a row. * What two things do head football coaches Buck Gardner of Southern and Dave Rigot of Glen Burnie have in common?


The two were football roommates at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va. and they could go down as the first two coaches in county history to reach 100 career losses. Gardner is 79-106, and Rigot, at 66-89, could do it by next year.

* Doesn't youth football coach John Olecski make a good point when he says that recreation football homecomings have gotten so big that by the time a kid is 12 homecomings are old hat and boring instead of a joyous occasion?

* How frustrating must it be for Meade head football coach Hayse Henderson when his JV team of 1991 goes 10-0, but nearly one-third of the team leaves before they get to varsity because of U.S. Army base transfers?

* It has to really hurt being thrown off an outstanding team for an act of vandalism at another school, but shouldn't the five guilty Severna Park boys soccer players count their blessings that they were not suspended from school?

* Congratulations to Severna Park seniors Erin Wylde and Amy Carnaggio, both members of the Falcons' girls soccer team, for the High School All-American Lacrosse Awards they received along with the graduated Niki Cecere at halftime of a soccer game last week.

* Isn't it good to hear that ex-Old Mill star (1985 grad) Dennis Wiseman, who has been spinning wheels in the St. Louis Cardinals' organization the past couple summers, will pitch this winter in the Dominican Republic with Santiago?


* Speaking of expansion teams, why has Florida Marlins scout Ty Brown been hanging around the Anne Arundel Community College fall baseball team? Is it because he's interested in catcher Rich Spiegel, third baseman Don Shump and outfielder Craig Everett, all ex-Northeast All-Metro players?

* Finally, is this the line of the year this football season?

From Glen Burnie's colorful veteran PA announcer "Marvelous Max" Powers at last Friday's Severna Park game, "The snout of the pigskin is on the 40-yard line."