Teen Boys Denied Whiskey, Guns and Fast Cars in Albemarle County

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Actually, the local paper, the Daily Progress reports:

Albemarle County's training rule for high school athletes violates the constitutional rights of the athletes and their parents, a nonprofit civil liberties group said Monday…

Under the rule, high school athletes must pledge that they will not use tobacco, alcohol or drugs on and off school grounds, and their parents must agree to tell coaches and principals if their children do.

Next the public schools will be requiring that students eat only trans-fat free, free range organic arugula. This policy nicely turns on its head the old school ploy of getting students to rat out their parents' recreational drug use to the police. 

But seriously folks, as my colleague Brian Doherty noted, private companies are now monitoring their employees' use of tobacco and alcohol too. As intrusive as that is, at least it's being done by private companies (and I would quit any company that tried to ban my drinking and smoking off the job).

In this case, a government agency–public schools–are trying to monitor and manage student behavior off grounds. The schools are not liable for what happens after the bell rings and since they aren't, it's none of their business what kids do once they get off the bus. Sure the kids could refuse to play sports (and I hope some of them do), but this just another sorry example of bureaucratic overreach that is pervading our society. 

Whole article here.

Disclosure: I live most of the time in Charlottesville which is the county seat of Albemarle County. 

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  1. Yeah, but Charlottesville itself is not a part of the county, despite having some of its organs within it.

  2. As intrusive as that is, at least it’s being done by private companies (and I would quit any company that tried to ban my drinking and smoking off the job).

    It’s still the “we own you” mentality.

  3. This rule does seem a little unnecessary given that it’s illegal for high schoolers to use tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs in the first place.

    Although it’s hard to see how asking somebody not to do something that’s already illegal is a violation of their rights.

  4. The schools I went to always maintained that i was under their authority from the time I entered the school/got on the bus until I crossed the threshold of my house.

  5. Most.Pointless.Disclosure.Ever. Unless you’re selling fast cars, guns and booze to these kids on the side, and I know you’d never do such a thing, Mr. Bailey. (But keep it up. The “Bailey Disclosure” has become a part of Reason’s institutional lore.)

    Sadly, I’d guess this pledge nonsense is far more common than merely in Albemarle County and also that many coaches are imposing dietary restrictions on the players, too. (Actually, that makes some sense.) I’d bet it’s common in private schools, too. Yeah, it’s yet another power grab, but athletes have always been perceived as fair game — something about jocks being role models, I hear — and coaches as a class aren’t known for their delicate sensibilities when it comes to legal niceties.

    The bit about parents as stoolies is a nice new twist, though. “Coach, I’ve got some bad news. When I was taking my son Billy to get his steroid injection yesterday, I think I smelled tobacco on his breath. Better bench him.” Yeah, right.

  6. Under the rule, high school athletes must pledge that they will not use tobacco, alcohol or drugs on and off school grounds, and their parents must agree to tell coaches and principals if their children do.

    Requiring parents to notify quasi-government officials (that may or may not have their own mandatory-reporting requirements)that their children have committed crimes seems to be a severve problem to me.

  7. Technically, companies should have the right to ban smoking and drinking, but I wouldn’t throw a hissy at all if there where bans put in place to prevent it.

  8. It’s still the “we own you” mentality.

    Reason has always had this strange idea that only the government can oppress people.

  9. Note that demanding that student-athletes must conform to a code of ethics to participate in voluntary school activities is not the real problem here.

  10. A little off topic, but am I the only one who reads Bailey’s posts and imagines him speaking in a Ben Stein sort of tone??

    “Bueller?…Bueller?….”

    Sorry, Ron. Just me ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. This is quite old hat. Not “Liberty Hat” old hat, but old hat nonetheless. When I played high school sports, the athletes were allegedly held up to higher standards than the rest of the student body. Perhaps this was to counter (or, more likely, solidify) the natural tendency to idolize athletes and treat them as the school’s Upper Crust.

    Athletes were routinely reprimanded for doing things that other kids did all the time, like “hold hands in the hall” (not with each other, of course, but with their girlfriends; this was a long time ago).

    Of course, athletes tended to be the riskiest behaved males in the school, which did in fact mean drinking, tobacco and other drugs, as well as sexual activity (as much as they could get). This is just basic evolutionary psychology. That’s the way Alpha males and pack males behave.

    I don’t see the attempt to clamp down on such behavior as a horrendous problem. Nannying, bullying, and even punishing those kids who want to be in sports is as old as the hills. Think hazing, in part. It has ties to military training, where depriving the grunt from basic comforts, and setting him apart from the rest of society, is SOP. Much like a cult, really.

    And sports is the main cult of our time. Mainstream culture, but cult nevertheless.

    It’s not as though kids are REQUIRED to participate in sports. (Though where I grew up, if one didn’t one made oneself a social outcast. After a while, I decided social outcast was better than being part of the cult.)

    It would be better were there no sports sponsored by public schools. All sports should be “city league” and “county league” voluntary organizations, as many are in the East, but few are in the West. (I don’t know why. I”ll let others care.)

    Here’s a question: Is there any hope of separating schooling from state as long as we can’t separate sports from schooling?

  12. Ron, I love the headline. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have to take a somewhat contrary and simultaneously non-contrary position though.

    1. There are training rules for sports. Pro, college, and HS. It isn’t unreasonable for a football player to be expected to follow certain rules. Last time I checked, football was an elective. If you don’t like the rules, don’t play.

    2. It’s a stupid pledge though. If I were the coach I’d hand out a flyer. Here’s the rules boys. You break ’em, I kick your ass. You break ’em often, I kick you off the team (that’d be a violation of the kid’s civil rights too I suppose).

    And that bit about having parents rat out the kids is priceless.

    As for employers, Henry Ford would fire anybody caught smoking, on or off the job. He also hired people to drive around the city and look to see what kind of car was parked in the employee’s driveway. If they found a Chevy you’d be standing tall in the boss’ office. The unions put an end to all of that. Well, maybe not the smoking.

    And for the record, HS football players have been told what to eat, what to drink, and not to have sex 24 hours before game time for at least three centuries.

  13. Jimmyda…..

    “Bueller?…Bueller?….”

    LOL.

    BTW, I have heard through reliable sources that Ron Bailey is a heck of a nice guy. Also heard he likes red wine, so that puts him one up on the next guy.

  14. High school sports are a privilege, and it seems like this kind of thing has always gone on. If you don’t want to live up to a heightened standard, then go hang out with the losers in the general population. Wasn’t there recently a SCOTUS case dealing with this in the context of drug testing?

  15. We had this sort of pledge when I was in high school and played sports (football, over 20 years ago). In our case, the pledge was made to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, which oversaw all public school athletics in the state. If you got caught in the off-season, you missed 1/3 of the following season. Caught during the season, and you missed the rest. We did our best not to get caught drinking, chewing, or smoking.

  16. This is quite old hat. Not “Liberty Hat” old hat, but old hat nonetheless. When I played high school sports, the athletes were allegedly held up to higher standards than the rest of the student body.
    The football guy in Dazed and Confused comes to mind.

  17. Except maybe for the demand for parental snitching, pledges like these have indeed been common for quite some time.

  18. My high school footbal team, had this policy been in place, and enforced, would have been reduced to searching for a six-man league. And I would have been in the stands, drinking beer and laughing my ass off. In college, the sole “training rule” was, “Be ready to play, because if yer not, somebody else is.”

    I see this stuff as another attempt by various parties as an attempt to extinguish meritocracy in any form. Just because “Johhny” is an obediant little dweeb, he should play linebacker in the place of “Timmy” who, despite having drunk a tewlve-pack of Coors Light and smoked eighty bongs Friday night, can still run faster, jump higher, and hit harder than Johnny on his best day.

    But it’s the process that matters, not the result; we’re all winners.

  19. Man, it’s the same bullshit they tried to pull in my day. If it ain’t that piece of paper, there’s some other choice they’re gonna try and make for you. You gotta do what Randall Pink Floyd wants to do man. Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’ man, L-I-V-I-N.

  20. “another attempt by various parties as an attempt to”?

    Gaaaah! Whose job is it to proofread this stuff?

  21. “It’s not as though kids are REQUIRED to participate in sports. (Though where I grew up, if one didn’t one made oneself a social outcast. After a while, I decided social outcast was better than being part of the cult.)

    It would be better were there no sports sponsored by public schools. All sports should be “city league” and “county league” voluntary organizations, as many are in the East, but few are in the West. (I don’t know why. I”ll let others care.)”

    INDEED!!! Seems like it would be a lot more fun for the high schoolers involved if they just got together with their friends after school and organized their own games. Not having to deal with all those rules (they could make up their own) and all the rest of the bureaucratic b.s. Cheaper, too! Sports are, after all, supposed to be for fun, since none of those kids are ever going to make a living at it. Eventually high school kids will start to figure out that being an obedient little sports program clone doesn’t make you cool, it makes you a tool.

  22. Eventually high school kids will start to figure out that being an obedient little sports program clone doesn’t make you cool, it makes you a tool.

    Doubtful. Most people don’t figure that out until later, and some never do.

  23. and their parents must agree to tell coaches and principals if their children do.

    If my son signs it, I’m sending a note along with it that says “FUCK YOU”.

  24. I see this stuff as another attempt by various parties as an attempt to extinguish meritocracy in any form. Just because “Johhny” is an obediant little dweeb, he should play linebacker in the place of “Timmy” who, despite having drunk a tewlve-pack of Coors Light and smoked eighty bongs Friday night, can still run faster, jump higher, and hit harder than Johnny on his best day.

    And that’s where such a system inevitably breaks down or is corrupted. “Timmy” will always get a free pass through the athletics mill–everyone in charge simply looks the other way. School athletics means money and prestige, and the most capable athletes will always be welcomed.

    Personally, I agree with getting ‘varsity’-level athletics out of the schools.

  25. What’s with all the jock-hate? In my highschool the kids who played sports where a pretty decent group of guys, not some wacky John Huges caricature.

    I see this stuff as another attempt by various parties as an attempt to extinguish meritocracy in any form. Just because “Johhny” is an obediant little dweeb, he should play linebacker in the place of “Timmy” who, despite having drunk a tewlve-pack of Coors Light and smoked eighty bongs Friday night, can still run faster, jump higher, and hit harder than Johnny on his best day.
    I doubt the school officals think that far ahead. Looking out for the well being of the students (and, to get a little sinister, saving their asses from a tarnished image) seems to be the main goal of these pledges.

  26. Teen Boys Denied Whiskey, Guns and Fast Cars in Albemarle County

    You forgot hookers. What…? oh, hookers are still OK…? …nevermind then

  27. Pirate,

    Seems like it would be a lot more fun for the high schoolers involved if they just got together with their friends after school and organized their own games.

    Right arm. That’s what my friends did. It was cool, too, because I could play football barefoot and I could run like hell without those clunky cleats.

    I played freshman football just long enough to realize that football wasn’t a whole lot different than I imagined Marine Corps basic training to be. Five years later that mistaken impression was pounded out of me in living color by some guy who looked a bit like Yosemite Sam in a Smokey.

    A bunch of us skinny teenage boys played tackle football (without pads) most winter Sunday afternoons.

    Key word here is played. Organized football is all about work, drill, and shoving that stupid blocking sled around the field with your shoulder while the coach screams obscenities.

    Sand lot? Show up and play. An exhausting three hours later you snaffle up a couple of burgers and a large Coke, then head home for supper.

    TWC

  28. Brooks’ parable of Johnny and Timmy reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron.” Read the whole thing at
    http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/hb.html

    Of course, high schools get away with this partly because teenagers are the new niggers.

  29. TPG, FY, funny stuff. Every time I was absent from school my dad would send a note that said:

    TWC was absent yesterday due to circumstances beyond our control.

    It used to really piss of the office staff.

  30. My uncle went to my private, Catholic high School in the 1950s. He told me that, in his day, students who hosted parties had to submit the guest lists to the nuns ahead of time, and they would vet it. For example, if kids from other schools – especially public schools – were allowed in, the sisters might not approve all of them. Freshmen going to the same parties as upperclassmen was right out, and if any hint of alcohol got back to Mother Superior, heads would roll. Just being in the presence of the Evil Chemical could get you gigged. Drug use wasn’t even contemplated.

    By the 70s, all that was gone, but you could still get in trouble if word got out that you were using pot or pills, or if underage drinking was going on. Some of the Seniors were 18, and could drink legally, but a coach could still demand that his players stay on the wagon while in training. That was the theory, but as long as you didn’t get arrested or puke on coach’s lawn, anybody could get anything required for all their inebriation needs. Booze was everywhere on our Senior class trip, and me only 17. When my debate team went to CFL Nationals in our Junior year we kept our noses clean, but as Seniors we went to New Orleans, and spent our free time drinking in the French Quarter. The cast parties for our school plays had wonderful choices in cocktails, wine and brew, and a lot more pretty girls. Our Senior class rented a party boat for post-prom, with a live band and beer for everybody. At least we weren’t driving to and from bars, and anybody who got too smashed would lose their stomach contents over the side.

    Thank ghu nobody ever asked me to sign an honor code in order to particpate in extracurriculars back then. I might have been enough of a wuss to have followed it!

    I seriously detest the demand that parents fink on their kids. What’s the point of an honor code if it isn’t self-enforcing? That a team member would give up the privilege of having a legal beer with his Dad isn’t too unreasonable, but the lack of a religious-practice exception is just stupid, and reeks of a Protestant Temperance mindset that can’t conceive of anything other than denatured grape juice as a proper communion beverage. Idiots.

    As for scholastic sports, there is the European model of local “sports clubs.” We see a bit of that here with soccer and AAU basketball. AAU hoops is, in many areas, the tail that wags the H.S. dog, for good or ill. The good thing about clubs is that, once the elite or travelling team is selected, the squads for the less gifted particpants aren’t dissolved. Sure, high school can have intramural teams, but the divide between the players on the J.V. or Varsity and those just playing “rec league” is huge, and the latter don’t get any kind of coaching. Often you don’t even keep playing the same sport – softball replaces baseball, and football becomes “touch” or “flag.”

    Kevin
    (Has an older brother who was cut from Varsity Baseball as a Senior because he wouldn’t cut his hair.)

  31. Hey, Brian Sorgatz, quit pimping your blog. Especially considering how bad it is.

  32. My sophomore year in high school, my high school’s football team was number 1 in the state, thanks largely in part to lenient disciplinary policies towards our athletes. For example, our star player Noel, was caught with pot at school. Yet, no charges were filed and the school decided to wait until AFTER the season to punish him. That same year, a good friend of my brother’s was our star receiver. He received a DUI and the school looked past it. In fact, he didn’t get kicked off the team until he received a second DUI, this time with a hit and run charge.

  33. It used to really piss of the office staff.

    Exactly. I already like your father. Screw the school. If I want to give my kid a beer, he’s getting a fucking beer and fuck you if you think I’m going to tattle on him.

    It’s grown up time now – take your little nanny ass back to the office and find a new motivational speaker for an assembly.

    Assholes.

  34. Sorry, Jonathan, but I have no intention of honoring your request. SiteMeter tells me that my “pimping” here consistently attracts readers, so go blow.

  35. Football coaches are the only public school officials that are at risk of getting canned because of performance and they hate it when the quarterback is puking up JD in the fourth quarter.

  36. “– something about jocks being role models,”

    *falls out of chair, convulsing with laughter.*

    Yeah, never understood that mentality, myself.

  37. Just because I can dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.

  38. What a bunch of athlete haters. Seems like a lot of you got picked on pretty harshly.

    I am a high school coach and an avid Reason reader. And I have absolutely no problem with telling kids to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and other illegal or harmful activities. I have no problem with it being a rule that they could be kicked out of the program for.

    Athletics are a privilege, not a right. And if a child knows beforehand and full well that there are certain requirements (such as passing all classes), there should be no whining about following the rules once you sign up for them.

    We can be against rules all we want, but once we give contractual agreement to follow them, we should.

    Quit hating athletics.

  39. By the way, we have never asked that parents rat out their kids. Probably because of the reason that we wouldn’t ever imagine a scenario when a parent would ever do that.

  40. I imagine that high school athletics will stop being popular as soon as everyone realizes that the joys of athleticism, hard work, being a part of a team, and a sense of achievement suck.

    Plus, high school sports heroes will stop having to have the best looking girlfriends.

  41. The parent snitching proviso is the weirdest part of it. Presumably a parent would either condone or punish whatever activity. Further, if the parent didn’t want the kid on the team as punishment for such activity, the parent could just call up the coach and say that the kid shouldn’t be on the team anymore.

  42. Parents need to learn to

  43. TPG, yeah, pop just figured it was none of the school’s business why I was absent. Except if I was ditching.

  44. What a bunch of athlete haters. Seems like a lot of you got picked on pretty harshly.

    Sure. Stereotyping is easier than thinking. People who think that a fair percentage of jocks act like assholes must have been picked on, right? There couldn’t be any rational reason to think that.

  45. Reason has always had this strange idea that only the government can oppress people.

    That’s because you can’t rightly be said to be oppressing someone who is voluntarily submitting to said “oppression”.

    That said, there’s value in advancing the view that one’s off work behavior is none of one’s employer’s business, even while defending the right of businesses to ultimately decide. The higher the price businesses recognize that they must pay to exert such control over their employees, the less appealing it will be to them to attempt to exert such control.

  46. The part about parents having to agree to rat out their kids is by far the most disturbing part of this. If a parent catches their kid drinking or breaking other parental rules, it is up to the parent if being cut off from school sports as punishment. The fact that the schools feel that it is their right to expect parents to include them on every decision is depressing to say the least.

    It should be noted that C’ville as it is known is a college town and an island of blue in red state Virginia. I have no doubt that the school board members who voted for this idiocy are the types that have “I am too poor to vote Republican” and “Bushitler” bumber stickers on thier Volvos and BMWs. Freedom is great as long as it doesn’t prevent them from telling you how to live and raise your children.

  47. “What a bunch of athlete haters. Seems like a lot of you got picked on pretty harshly.”

    It is nice to see a high school coach admit that a stereotype-worthy number of high school athlets are actually pigheaded bullies and assholes, and not the models of self-discipline their coaches usually think they are.

  48. John,

    I didn’t know that obsessing over teen behavior and parent-child honor codes was the exclusive territory of Volvo-driving liberals. Thank you for opening my eyes.

  49. John, the rule is for the county, not the city. The county is more liberal than most in Central Virginia, but it is still fairly conservative.

  50. I really liked the paragraph that starts with “But seriously folks,…” I could almost hear the rim shot.

  51. IMHO, if the taxpayers support a school program in any way, in has to be open to all students. Let the pro teams and college football factories find their lunkheads on someone else’s dime.

  52. Quit hating athletics.

    Ummmm… No.

    Not as long as some muscle-bound dimwit makes millions for playing a kid’s game while the world’s scientists have to scratch, beg, borrow, and steal every cent for their research.

    Not as long as major sports franchises can get government funding for super-stadiums while stem cell research is eighty-sixed (Of course, the Jesus-fucks don’t help when they proclaim that every zygote deserves voting rights.) or the space program whithers on the vine.

    (Of course, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth at the mere notion that government ought to be paying for scientific research or space exploration. When you can turn a profit with AIDS or Cancer research, or when Virgin Galactic can build those hotels on Mars, then we can talk about fully “privatizing” science. In the meantime I’m willing to commit this much libertarian heresy to see that mankind benefits from science in ways other than PS4s and new erectile dysfunction drugs. I rather spend 10 billion on a return to a moon than on more SWAT team thugs to conduct the War On Drugs, or pay the salaries of any politician.)

    Not as long as kids look up to a knuckle-dragging thug with a rap sheet can throw a ball around while people of the mind–the people who should really matter–are written of as “nerds.”

    Sorry, as long as mankind fails to keep its priorities straight, I’ll hate those jock-strap wearing meatheads and wish them all the worst.

  53. I didn’t know that obsessing over teen behavior and parent-child honor codes was the exclusive territory of Volvo-driving liberals. Thank you for opening my eyes.

    He didn’t say that it was exclusive territory of Volvo-driving liberals. He said that *this* bunch of obsessives was also a bunch of Volvo-driving liberals.

    (BTW, Albemarle County voted 57.52% for Webb and 58.64% against the gay marriage ban, 54.3% for Weed over Goode for Congress in 2006, and 50.51% for Kerry in 2004. Sounds like blue territory to me.)

  54. All this jock hating is totally about the fact that they get laid more.

  55. I just RTFA, and was a bit surprised to find that the “nonprofit civil liberties group” that Mr. Bailey referred to was not some bunch of pinkos, but the Rutherford Institute, a right-wing Christian organization. (Of course, since they filed an amicus brief taking Jose Padilla’s side, I guess that in the eyes of the Bush Administration they *are* nothing more than a bunch of pinkos, even if they drive pickup trucks rather than Volvos.)

  56. Coach, I don’t hate athletics–I just hate the unexamined presumption that they’re important,
    and that those who are good at them are any thing more than good at sports.

    (Staying out of the clutches of coaches, cops, and drill sergeants has worked out pretty well for me.)

  57. These Jock vs. Nerd and Clean Vs. Dirty dichotomies are shaking my mind.

    When I was in high school, I brought a fifth of SoCo along on quiz bowl trips, but would have been terrified to so much as admit to my football coach that I smoked.

  58. “Athletics are a privilege, not a right.”

    Good one, Coach!

  59. Check out this news story about a college freshman who bled to death on his campus after he fell, when his blood alcohol level was — as they say in these articles on the incident “more than twice the legal limit.” They do specify that it is the legal limit for a person 21 or older. They don’t state that it’s the legal limit for driving rather than for merely existing in an intoxicated state.

    It should be unbelievable, but instead it’s just infuriating.

    http://tinyurl.com/232wja

    http://tinyurl.com/yvreha

  60. What the hell is wrong with these schools, especially in The South?

    Too much social control, not enough learning.

  61. Quit hating athletics.

    Who hates athletics? Now coaches, on the other hand…

  62. Actually, I shouldn’t let that stand. I have nothing against coaches, either, though I find the attitudes evinced by Coach vault_dog4 above indicative of much that I do dislike about high school sports programs and some coaches. We don’t, as a rule, tell a gifted musician she can’t perform in recitals if she’s not passing her classes or if she smokes cigarettes, so why should we single out athletes for these special requirements.

    Okay, I know that some schools might well have similar requirements for all extracurricular activities, so school recitals would be out, too. But if you’re a musician or artist, etc., the only game in town for you isn’t the school varsity program. And I don’t recall anybody telling me in high school that if I didn’t do better in phys. ed. class or if I got caught smoking I wouldn’t be allowed to enter the Science Fair.

    So what the hell is the point of the “they know the rules so they shouldn’t whine” argument. Did they get to make the rules or even participate in making them? Of course not.

    Yes, kids are different than adults, and I certainly have no difficulty imposing rules on my own children. But that doesn’t mean just any old rules are fair or proper, especially when such rules discriminate against one sort of student simply because his talents and interests are sports instead of science or theater or the chess club.

  63. Reason has always had this strange idea that only the government can oppress people.

    You’re confusing oppression with annoying or making life difficult for. No one doubts that corporations have onerous, stupid, or downright nasty employment policies which some like to call “oppression”. But only the government can put you in jail, strip you of rights, property, and the ability to persue happiness if you don’t play ball with a given policy or regulation.

    Beating the dead horse of Eminent Domain, Donald Trump can’t take my land without my permission. Only Donald Trump via a willing and receptive government can take my land.

    This story is one of those petty outrages– it’s school officials so make of it what you will.

  64. These things are illegal anyway so the school enforcing it is irrelevant. All they are saying is, “Do you affirm that you will not commit illegal behavior?”

    The school does have a right to do such things. Why do you think students who are being abused at home often tell a teacher? Schools have to work outside their physical grounds. Public schools are shit, because this has stopped happening.

    It’s still the “we own you” mentality.

    Not really. It is a “we will work with you if…” Keep in mind, drug/alcohol use isn’t free. If I owned a business I would not hire smokers.

  65. “Athletics are a privilege, not a right.”

    Aren’t programs paid for by parents?

  66. Goldwater Conservative, you’d be missing out on some of the best employees ever by insisting on not hiring “smokers.” Does that mean ANYONE who smokes, no matter how little? I occasionally indulge in a smoke, I’ll admit, but I work my little ass off and have gotten nothing but excellent reviews from employers–even while smoking much more–my entire working life. You miss out by generalizing that way. It’s like saying you wouldn’t hire a fat person ’cause you just assume they’re lazy (just an example, folks–I think that stereotype is ridiculous). Too broad of brush, my friend. Most people have some sort of “vice” or bad habit, whether smoking, overeating, etc.–some are just a bit more apparent to the outside world. You may have an employee that’s as crazy as a loon but never touches any chemicals at all. Look at their work record instead, dude.

  67. With one sentence, I must have re-opened years of wounds from knuckle draggers and cool guys with letter jackets.

    Jeez, lighten up Frances.

    The requirement that our athletes must pass a class is a state requirement, not our own. However, since we (as in coaches) understand that a great number of athletes and testosterone laden lads wouldn’t bother to ever receive an education if they couldn’t legally enact violence upon someone else in a sport’s arena, we are going to do our damndest to keep their grades up and their blood clean.

    And since athletes are singled out regularly for drug usage, but academic and music participants are never even mentioned, we do what we must to protect our own. I am against drug testing as a prerequisite, but it is being discussed in my state for athletes, not band or aca-dec participants.

    Complain and cry all you want. And no, they don’t get a say in the athletic rules just as I get no (or very little) say in 99% of the laws that you and I obey every day. And since asking a child to not partake in activities already illegal, it doesn’t seem too much of an inconvenience.

    But seriously, just because you guys can’t lift your own body weight and thought that writing poetry was more important than throwing a football doesn’t mean that you can’t have a sense of humor, does it?

    ?

  68. We should be promoting amity between the Jocks and the Nerds, so they can get their heads together and start the National Rollerball League. It’s the 21st Century, damnit!

    The All-Chemical Enhancements Allowed Football League is behind schedule, too.

    I never hated jocks qua jocks. Of course, I’m a coach’s kid, and the fact that I must have inherited my mother’s non-existent batting eye and my bedridden grandmother’s hoops skills was a realization I came to before the start of freshman year. Just because I sucked at sports doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy them. I played pickup games and intramurals, and proudly bear the self-proclaimed title of World’s Worst Pond Hockey Goalie.* If I was gifted with at least the minimal talent of one of my older brothers, who managed to make the Varsity football and baseball teams, I would have made the most of it. No help from nepotism, though. Dad coached at another school. (Unlike our football coach’s youngest son, who was Varsity QB1 as a Sophomore in my Senior, and our school’s last year. Gee, he wouldn’t have been making sure that his kid wouldn’t ride the pine after he had to transfer the following year, ya think?)

    At least our school gave letters for non-sport extracurriculars. If students from another school saw my forensics letter, complete with the keen torch on it, they might have thought I was on the track team or something. Our track letters actually bore a winged and cleated track shoe, but if someone thought “Torch? Olympics? Must be a shot-putter or something,” who was I to correct them? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kevin

    *Actually Attempted To Skate Division. “Worst PHG who went out on the ice in his snowboots” is a separate title.

  69. My high school required athletes to keep training (no smoking or booze, both of which were legal then) but it was on the honor system. You had to turn yourself in. I don’t know what happened if you didn’t. Probably it was an even more severe matter then.

  70. Sure we have a sense of humor, coach. We laugh at jocks and their sense of self-importance.

    You can get back to us after your “Harrassing the Klutz” and “Advanced Towel-Popping” classes.

  71. Not 1 “Dazed and Confused” quote?

    “I might play football this year coach(throws paper on the ground)….but I will NEVER sign that pledge!!” – Pink

  72. You forgot our “Advanced Swirlies” and “How to date hot girls” classes.

    We stress academics here!

  73. I’m really beginning to like the Rutherford Institute. First, I read that they’re fighting this nonsense in Albemarle; then I learn that they’re suing for justice in this case:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w10.html

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