Archived Story

Some rules do not make sense

Published 6:00am Saturday, February 18, 2012

Last week there was a story on Yahoo! Sports about a high school girls basketball team from Nebraska who received a technical foul for their uniforms.

When I read the headline, I immediately thought the uniforms were probably skimpy or revealing or they featured something vulgar or obscene or they were worn as some form of protest against something that angered school officials.

However, when I clicked on the story to read what all the hoopla was about, I was left shaking my head at the pettiness of some people.

The Burke High girls basketball team from Omaha, Neb., was levied a technical foul for wearing pink uniforms.

The uniforms were to be auctioned off after the game in an attempt to raise $2,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that’s purpose is to make dreams come true for those with terminal illnesses.

Are you shaking your head now?

The reasoning behind the technical foul is because Burke High was playing at home, and according to the rules, white uniforms are supposed to be worn when playing at home.

The opposing team’s coach, Dave Licari, brought up the violation and it was reported that Licari’s athletic director at Columbus High School, John Krogstrand, was the one who brought the violation to the coach’s attention.

I’m all for playing by the rules and home teams might have to wear white uniforms for a very good reason, but I’m quite certain that reason isn’t as good of a reason as raising $2,000 for a worthy cause.

My question is what was the point in penalizing a team that was trying to do something good? What lesson could that coach possibly conceive he was teaching his team by blowing the whistle on an opposing team that was helping a charitable organization?

I’ll tell you what the lesson was and it’s an all-too-common theme these days: Win at all costs.

This coach and his athletic director can claim all day long that they just wanted everyone to follow the rules and they have no ill will towards the Burke High girls basketball team, but the root issue is that these coaches were more concerned about winning the game (which they ultimately did) than they were about supporting a neighboring school and their efforts to improve the lives of others.

This incident, in my opinion, speaks to so many sad and disheartening issues many high school sports teams face today:

Where did the fun go? Where are the lessons of sportsmanship? Where are the lessons of helping others?

We need more high school coaches who will recognize that sports (especially at that age) should be a way to build character, integrity, self-esteem, self-respect and respect for others. Coaches like Licari and Krogstrand who don’t understand this shouldn’t be allowed to influence America’s youth.

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