Law & Policy: Sportsmanship
Blog: Whither Sportsmanship?
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor February 2013
The sentencing this week of a youth hockey coach to 15 days in jail for tripping a 13-year-old player from the opposing team in the handshake line last June reminded me of just how far we, as a sporting society, still have to go. The lawyer for Martin Tremblay, whose action in a British Columbia ice rink was caught on video, argued that the coach was off his anti-depressants at the time. But the judge didn't care and called Tremblay's behavior a "cowardly sucker punch." Hooray for Canada's judicial system!
Blog: A Simple Answer to a Simple Management Question
by Andrew Cohen February 2013
The very-active NIRSA Community forum - if you don't know, that's the place where college recreation professionals post job offerings and seek advice on facilities, management and equipment issues - tackles some thorny questions. So when a post appeared Monday headed "Need opinions on a tough situation," I donned my thinking cap and girded myself for something…well, tough.
Mayor Booted from High School Wrestling Tournament
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor February 2013
When John Callahan began shouting at referee Dennis Buchman during a district wrestling tournament Saturday night at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pa., the 22-year veteran official wasted no time ejecting him. But what makes this story worthy of national news is the fact that Callahan - the father of a wrestler from nearby Freedom High School - also is Bethlehem's mayor and a candidate for Northampton County executive.
Chicago Public Schools Suspends Coaches, Sends Message
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor January 2013
Chicago Public Schools has suspended two high school head basketball coaches for demonstrating unprofessional conduct in the wake of a post-game fight last week that ended with a student's murder outside the gymnasium. Robert Smith of Simeon Career Academy and Nick Irvin of Morgan Park High School will sit out four games each for behavior that CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said "shocked and appalled" her. (The terms of the suspension require the coaches to attend the games in a non-coaching capacity.)
Massive Youth Football Gambling Ring Busted in South Florida
by Emily Attwood October 2012
An 18-month investigation of a youth football gambling operation in South Florida culminated in the arrest of nine men, all coaches and assistants from the league. "Operation Dirty Play," as the investigation was called, started with journalists from ESPN who videotaped parents exchanging money in the stands. According to investigators, larger sums of money were exchanged off the field, and as much as $100,000 was wagered on a youth football championship.
Blog: Running As Punishment Does Nobody Any Good
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor October 2012
When I played freshman basketball at a Catholic high school in Wisconsin back in the 1980s, one of my teammates earned the nickname "Plop" because of the sound his flat feet made when we ran laps around the gym. I remember running laps around that gym with "Plop" and the rest of my teammates a lot, often as punishment for forgotten indiscretions; in fact, the running is what sticks out most about that season - which was my last playing organized hoops.
Fighting in Ice Hockey Faces Unprecedented Scrutiny
by Paul Steinbach April 2012
Derek Boogaard's brain is handled with care these days. It resides with dozens of others at Boston University, donated to the Sports Legacy Institute so that it might be studied for signs of long-term damage.
How to Weed Out Trouble-Making High School Sports Fans
by Michael Popke March 2012
In a brief but volatile confrontation with a referee officiating his daughter's basketball game at Albuquerque, N.M.'s Volcano Vista High School in January, Paul Alfaro flung a vulgarity the official's way.
'Battle of the Fans' Seeks Top High School Cheering Section
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor January 2012
Who says school spirit is dead? Not students at the five Michigan high schools that have made it to the finals of that state's inaugural "Battle of the Fans." Developed by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, the contest seeks to recognize the top student cheering section in the state. Organized by MHSAA staff and its 16-member Student Advisory Council, it will reward the section that best exemplifies the positive and festive atmosphere created when students show enthusiasm, unity and sportsmanship while rooting for their school's basketball teams.
Politics Pollute Inaugural Youth Olympic Games
by Michael Popke August 2010
Iran was accused of putting politics before sports at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on Sunday after withdrawing from a taekwondo final against Israel. The Iranian delegation told the Games' internal news service that Mohammad Soleimani did not compete because of injury, while Israel called the withdrawal politically motivated. "My understanding is that he was taken to [a] hospital and unable to compete," International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams told the Associated Press.