RECENT ARTICLES
  • Prep Coach Placed on Leave, Likely for Pushing Student

    by Jesse Smithey May 2014

    Bearden High School baseball coach John Rice was placed on paid administrative leave Monday, according to documents viewed Wednesday by the News Sentinel in his Knox County Schools personnel file.

  • Common Mistakes Made by High School Athletic Directors

    by Kevin Bryant April 2014

    It would not be difficult for any honest interscholastic athletic administrator to fill up a page or two about the mistakes he or she has made and would like to avoid in the future. I've been there myself as a former athletic administrator. Reflecting on my own experiences (and mistakes), I'd like to offer a series of tips that will not only benefit novice athletic administrators, but veteran administrators, as well.

  • HS Baseball Player with Rare Disease Deemed Eligible

    by March 2014

    Competing in sports at the high school level is no easy feat, but for one Louisiana high school student becoming eligible to compete has been a challenge in itself.

    The Louisiana High School Athletic Association ruled that 18-year-old Sean Thiel was ineligible to participate in spring baseball this season after missing too many days of school. The absences were caused by a rare medical condition from which Thiel suffers known as achalasia. The disease affects the esophagus’s ability to move food to the stomach, which led to a number of absences — including a surgery at the Mayo Clinic to stabilize his condition in early March.

    According to The Advocate, after filing a federal suit against the LHSAA March 3, Thiel was finally granted a hardship waiver that allowed him to begin playing earlier this month.

    "I commend the LHSAA for taking another look at this. We have no ill will. We're just happy they re-evaluated the situation," Michael Thiel told The Advocate Friday. "It is a positive story for a change. It's the right result.”

    "It reinforces your faith in humanity."

    Hardship waivers are used in high school sports to help make a student eligible for competition if he has a condition that causes him to not meet the requirements for eligibility. As a part of the lawsuit that brought Thiel’s situation to the LHSAA’s attention, Thiel’s family claimed that the LHSAA had violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by not allowing Thiel to play baseball even though he met the requirements for a hardship waiver.

    After Thiel became eligible to play, Thiel’s family dropped the suit March 18.

    As part of the agreement with the LHSAA, Thiel — a high school sophomore — must meet all future eligibility requirements if he wishes to continue playing high school sports in his junior and senior seasons.

    Thiel’s father told The Advocate his son has already recorded a couple of hits in two games since his reinstatement on the team.

  • Transgender Students Allowed to Play, Homeschoolers Benched in Virginia

    by Michael Gaio February 2014

    It was a big news week for high school athletes in Virginia.

  • High School Athletic Trainers Key in Concussion Management

    by Dennis Van Milligen February 2014

    Spring Hill (Kan.) High School senior Nathan Stiles had just scored a 65-yard touchdown when he began grasping his helmet and screaming that his head hurt. He collapsed near his team’s sideline and died just days before his 18th birthday. He died of a brain hemorrhage, which doctors determined was caused by a concussion one month earlier. His autopsy revealed Stiles had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease commonly associated with retired football players and boxers.

  • Youth Participation in Team Sports on the Decline

    by Michael Gaio February 2014

    The Wall Street Journal recently published a lengthy article detailing the drop in participation in the four most-popular U.S. team sports — basketball, soccer, baseball and football. The results are not pretty. The author examined data from youth leagues, school sports groups and industry associations from 2008 to 2012.

  • Club Sports Pushing Athletes Away From High School

    by Dennis Van Milligen January 2014

    Club sports were once revered nationwide by high schools for helping enhance the young athlete and preparing him or her for the more competitive high school environment. But various factors have played a role in transforming club sports from high school athletics supporter to slayer, forcing one high school athletic director to admit, "I think we might see a time when high school sports don't exist and club sports completely replace it."

  • Blog: Prioritizing The Student-Athlete a Must for ADs

    by Dennis Van Milligen January 2014

    Since I have been a member of the AB team, I have had the fortunate opportunity to chronicle the challenges high school athletic administrators are facing in today's high-pressure, win-at-all-costs environment. We hear about all the steps that are being taken to protect the student-athlete from a physical standpoint, but what about from an emotional and psychological standpoint?

  • Fundraising Ideas for High School Athletic Directors

    by Dennis Van Milligen December 2013

    The pressure to generate more revenue on the high school level has continued to increase, forcing many athletic directors to roll up their sleeves and get more involved in the fundraising process. "Everything you do, you're asking, 'How can I save money?' or 'How can I increase revenue?' " says Karl Heimbach, athletic director at Magruder High School in Rockville, Md., for the past 14 years. "Expenses are continuing to rise and the level of income you bring in is either going down or staying constant. Fundraising has become one of my top priorities."

  • Youth Football Participation Dropping Drastically

    by Michael Gaio November 2013

    You don't have to be a football fan to know that concussions have been in the news a lot lately. And if you're an AB reader, you know head injuries are unfortunately a topic we have to cover way too often. Just this week we've reported deaths of two youth football players who died following head injuries.