I had a nice sit-down this morning with John Engh, chief operating officer of the National Alliance for Youth Sports. It's been almost a year since the nonprofit organization introduced the Coach Rating System - a tool that allows parents to provide positive (and negative) feedback to coaches, coaches to discover their own strengths and weaknesses, and program administrators to ensure their coaches are the right men and women for the job. I thought now would be a good time to check in and see how it's going. So far, about 130 NAYS member chapters have taken advantage of the free tool, and initial reaction has been positive. "All of the things that we were focused on in the past - coaches' training, background checks - are still challenges for us," Engh told me. "But now we're trying to draw a parallel between a volunteer coach and an employee." What about those youth sports organizations that already struggle to find coaches? Will they be tempted to set the bar low for coaches who receive negative feedback, worried about creating the need to find a mid-season replacement for a poor-performing coach? "We don't dictate to the leagues what they should do; we give them guidelines for what we think they should do," Engh says. "We're being proactive by saying that this tool is very useful to those coaches who may be borderline. Now all the parents are watching them, and those parents have a voice." Don't worry if your not a NAYS member; Engh says the association is working on ways to get the Coach Rating System out to as many organizations as possible. "If every coach in America is getting evaluated like this 10 years from now, we've done our job."
Tennessee HS Names State's First Woman Football Coach Brittney Garner, who was hired recently by Pickett County, is believed to be the first female football coach in Tennessee. read more
University of Buffalo AD's Contract Extended Through 2019 The University at Buffalo made another significant move to try to maintain continuity in its athletics program Wednesday by signing Athletics Director Danny White to a five-year contract extension. read more
Rutgers Removes Rice References from Stadium, Website
In light of the disturbing video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator released yesterday by TMZ, Rutgers University is beginning to distance itself from its former star running back.read more
Redskins Offer to Donate to High School's Sports Program The foundation offered Monument Valley $30,000 for its athletic program. But school district officials dispute that figure and said the donation needs to go through proper channels before it can be accepted. read more
Opinion: Notre Dame Scandal Blame Should Start at Top ANALYSIS/OPINION: One form of cheating in school has been around forever. "Hey, I don't have last night's homework. Can I copy yours?" Another old favorite entails whispering across the aisle during a test: "Psst, what's the answer to No. 5?" The student who neglects to complete his work or properly prepare for an exam might have a good excuse for being in that situation. But those remedies are all wrong. Meanwhile, the other pupil faces a moral crossroad, with the option to bail him out or let him sink. read more
Retired Sox Organist Recalls 41 Seasons at Comiskey If you went to a White Sox home game between 1970 and 2010, or if you're currently a Kane County Cougars fan, chances are good you've heard Nancy Faust doing her thing on the organ. read more