According to news reports, NC Senator Charlie Albertson has introduced a bill to the NC General Assembly that will ban athletic programs at schools that are not up to par, academically.
NC Senate Bill 377 aims to:
"prohibit participation in interscholastic athletic activities at schools at which a majority of the students are below the fiftieth percentile on end-of-course and end-of-grade tests for two or more consecutive years."
Wow, that's heavy stuff!
I gotta say that I believe that something has to be done to make kids put down the iphone and pick up a book. However, I don't think that turning the varsity football team into a band of outlaws is the answer.
Albertson seems to make the assumption that if you flatten all the basketballs at the local high school then Lil Tyrone is going to be magically transformed into a straight A student.
I hate to come off sounding like Dana Carvey's George H Bush skit from Saturday Night Live but...
"Not prudent...Not gonna happen..."
Most schools already have some sort of standards which players must meet ,so the athletic programs actually encourage children to stay on the right track.
That is not to say that for many kids, especially black children, athletic participation has not been overrated. Too many of our children see shootin' ball as a ticket out of the ghetto.
Also, some may argue that many black young men have been exploited by greedy agents and over zealous recruiters. This is especially a concern in a day when folks are trying to allow recruiters to start eye ballin' potential recruits as early as the 7th grade.
However, you do not have to take away athletic activities in order to raise the academic proficiency level of NC schools. There are other ways to achieve this goal.
Bannin' B-ball will only take away one of the few outlets available to keep children off the streets.
Sen. Albertson must remember that the kid who is kicked off the football field today could be the same kid kickin' in your back door, tomorrow.