Don’t put athletes on a pedestal

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m a fan of ESPN’s Outside the Lines.

Sunday’s edition dealing with the soccer ‘industry’ in Brazil made me step back and think about what some well-meaning individuals are attempting to do in my home state.

In two of his latest columns, my boss- Parkersburg News and Sentinel Sports Editor Dave Poe – has brought to light one of the Secondary School Activities Commission’s latest endorsements.

Allowing high school coaches to work with their athletes all summer long is akin to paying college athletes when they already receive more benefits than any other student at the school.

It’s stupid and those attempting to pass this on as ‘for the kids’ need to ask themselves why they are pushing for an issue that will further take children away from the parents who need to be spending more time with their offspring, not less.

We already have coaches, and sports, that never stop.

A quick perusal of our Sunday edition proves my point. It’s the spring, yet there are photos of teams playing sports that are contested in the fall and winter.

Basketball seems to never end and soccer and football aren’t far behind. Athletes are competing more and more in certain sports with the promise that all of the increased time committed will result in a chance to play at the collegiate level.

And, while there are cases to support that argument, the majority of high school athletes end their careers when their senior school year comes to an end.

We live in a time when so many followers of college athletics are pushing for more and more benefits (call them stipends or whatever) for those they say are responsible for making millions for their chosen institutions.

Make sports a year round endeavor for our high school/middle school athletes and it is just a matter of time before some individual begins asking for the same considerations.

The NCAA learned a long time ago that there needs to be periods of time when a coach cannot be around his/her athletes. Maybe the SSAC needs to look at that instead of listening to a group of individuals that have hidden agendas.

* Got A Question?: On Thursday, I will be making my annual trek to J.P. Henry’s Restaurant for the Mountaineer Coaches Caravan.

As usual, I have some questions that I would like to ask Director of Athletics Oliver Luck, head football coach Dana Holgorsen and head men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins.

But, I bet there are some questions that fans would like to have answered. So, here’s your chance.

Send me your questions to the e-mail address below and I will do my best to get an answer to your query.

I will use the responses in a future column. I did this a couple of years ago and had some very interesting inquiries.

Questions must be submitted by Wednesday and you will need to attach your name and a telephone number where you can be reached.

Contact Jim Butta at