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Keller @ Large: High School Sports Overlords Should Be Consistent

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(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS)  – On the day after the biggest football game of the year, it seems appropriate to point out that if they’re going to be intellectually consistent, the board of directors of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) is going to have to drop football as a sanctioned sport soon.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

After all, the MIAA dropped boys’ gymnastics down to club status last month after ruling that there just wasn’t enough interest in it from students, spectators or commercial endorsers.

It’s a “girls’ sport,’’ an association spokesman explained to the Globe. (He has since apologized for the remark, but the policy decision stands.) “When was the last time you watched boys’ gymnastics? They don’t get on the cover of the Wheaties box. They don’t get the endorsements.”

OK then, if that’s the new standard.

Never mind that, as the stunned and infuriated Braintree High boys’ gymnastics coach wrote in a letter to a local newspaper, their program has been active for more than half a century, and state high school programs have produced two Olympians and scores of college All-Americans.

The coach notes his and other programs are funded by students and their families, and use the high school’s existing facilities. The only cost to the MIAA, he claims, is the “particle board plaques” they give out to tournament winners.

But hey, I can see where the MIAA is money-conscious these days. They were running $200,000 behind budget at year’s end due to lagging attendance at football tournament games, the Globe reported.

Hold the line here, MIAA, it’s important. You needn’t be too flexible or prioritize the interests of the schools and atheletes – and common sense – over your bureaucratic prerogatives.

Listening, communicating, mediating wisely – those are girls’ sports.

Listen, these are tough decisions the MIAA has to make. And it won’t be easy for them to be consistent and drop football back to club status too because it’s not pulling its financial weight and, after all – it’s a boys’ sport.

And basing policy on clueless, dismissive stereotyping like that is absolutely in everyone’s best interests.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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