Sunday Sports Mailbag: Sports should be independent from schools

I have been a faithful proponent of year-round school for over 30 years.

As in Europe, year-round school has several months of school, and then there are three weeks of break. So breaks, vacations, etc, happen several times a year.

The school day is also longer than what we have here. With this model, child care is also less of an issue since students are in school more. There is much more continuity of learning since there are no extended breaks, so no extended periods of review.

They also do not have sports in schools. Sports exist as clubs separate from the school. I was not always a strong proponent of this until COVID.

It became so obvious that sports was a major driver of opening schools. It was viewed as equally important as academics, which clearly it is not.

As Cory Giger pointed out a while ago, the fear of the loss of revenue drove many universities to prioritize sports over academics. There is just something completely out of whack here.

I think we forget that sports are entertainment. Sports are something you do outside after school. They are not reading writing and arithmetic.

They are an expense.

Coaches, facilities, uniforms etc., are not free. They’re purchased with tax dollars. Where else would they get it? I doubt most schools have a rich benefactor covering the costs of multiple sports.

As I see it, these dollars would be better used to pay teachers and buy books. I do not know how much schools spend on athletics, but I think it is too much. Every dollar that flows into a school from tax dollars should go to academic services and not athletics.

We need an educated public. We have too many people who do not understand how our own government works.

The world, not just America is rapidly changing. Time marches on.

We need to provide opportunity and inspiration to our children so that they can fully understand our past and present, and what tomorrow might look like.

A stronger educational system is what we need. Sports do teach a great many lessons, but those lessons do not have to happen in school. We have Little League baseball as a model. Let’s extend it to all sports.

We have minor league baseball. Let’s extend it to football, soccer and basketball and pay athletes. Let’s let schools do what schools are supposed to do. Educate and inspire.

Stephen M. LoRusso



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