PIAA, unfairly, governs by fear

I strongly favor a plan that would level the playing field between the PIAA’s private and public schools.

As a former head coach and current assistant varsity coach of a public school for a period of 23 years, this is an issue that needs to be addressed in some form.

Also having been a former member of a PIAA district committee, as well as a former member of the PIAA parent advisory board, this is an issue that has been avoided by the PIAA for many years, dating back to former PIAA director Brad Cashman.

The PIAA has feared political pressure of lobbyists and interest groups, as well as potential lawsuits being brought on by the groups representing private school interests.

Possibly separation of playoffs would be the ultimate answer but one that the PIAA is unwilling to consider — even though other state high school athletic associations already have it in place.

The current approach being taken by the PIAA is a bandaid and fails to address the issue at its core.

The answer? Well, that’s the million-dollar question.

Randy Bussard

Berlin

(The writer is an assistant wrestling coach at Central High School.)

Heim, Rickens set standard

Dave Heim’s passing saddens this former basketball coach.

He was an outstanding official and a exemplary gentleman.

The first game of my Huntingdon Area High School coaching career was in 1981, and I was blessed to have Heim and Ron Rickens as the referees.

Before tipoff, they congratulated me on being named coach and wished me the best.

I asked them if they had any advice for a rookie coach.

Heim said, “Let us officiate, you do the coaching, and we’ll let the kids play, and we’ll all have an enjoyable evening.”

Simple words, but great insight.

John Los

Huntingdon

Fox bogeys its U.S. Open coverage

And the winner for worst broadcast of a major golf tournament is (no pregnant pause because this is an easy and obvious choice) Fox Sports’ coverage 2018 U.S. Open.

First we had to put up with over-the-top fluff from various people who had little clue about golf and interviewed so-called celebrities who opined about questions unrelated to the Open championship.

Next we had Joe “What a Shot” Buck, who while he has the name recognition and experience in other sports, was unable to banter with nor really understand some of the rather good insights Paul Azinger was giving.

The on-course reporters were weak with their insights as well.

Finally, and unbeknownst to the Fox Sports powers, golf is not football, baseball or any other spectator sport where fans scream at every happening.

Why in heaven’s name did the network place static microphones at every tee and anywhere the fans where gathered? The idiots attending quickly recognized these, gathered closely, and yelled “get in the hole!” or “you da man!” or equally obnoxious statements, even if a player was teeing off on a 600-yard par-5.

This was not the Phoenix Open where on the famous par-3 this sort of behavior is encouraged.

We had really good cake with bitter icing. Fox has a whole year to prepare so I hope it doesn’t ruin next year’s Open at Pebble Beach.

Joe Maschue

Altoona

Pirates stranding way too many

I am a Pirate fan and have watched every game this season.

I think Clint Hurdle is great.

The loss in the 13th inning last Friday night (June 22) was due to silly errors. That happens to everyone.

My question is whether the team remembers that when a man gets on base the point is to get that same man back home. I don’t want to be unkind, but I wonder if the Pirates are setting a record for most stranded players.

Please try harder.

Donna Hott

Hollidaysburg

In youth baseball, ‘let players play’

I would like to comment on the recent baseball playoffs and tournaments.

Now that the games are over, the dust settled, dugouts empty, trophies and medals awarded, players go home. Winners are happy, and second-place finishers (not losers) say maybe next year.

My comments are mostly about intentional walks. There are far too many in some of these games.

I say let the players play. Give each the opportunity to perform to their abilities. Don’t take the game out of their hands.

What the coaches are telling their players is we are not good enough to beat their best in given situations.

All teams want to win but cannot.

But I guess the bottom line to some is win by whatever it takes.

I coached Pee Wee, Little League and Teener ball years ago, and I don’t think I ever had a free pass issued.

Bernard Harker

Newry