Valdosta Daily Times

Z_CNHI News Service

October 1, 2013

Will the lights go out on Friday nights?

(Continued)

Dr. Stephen Daeschner, a retired school superintendent, said attempting to connect America’s rich appetite for sports with the academic success of its public schools and how the country fares on worldwide achievement tests is like comparing “apples, oranges and grapes.” What critics should be observing is a community’s respect for education, said Daeschner, who led the 110,00-student school system in Louisville, Ky., for 14 years.

While some schools may – and oftentimes do – overemphasize sports at the expense of education, one does not need to be pitted against the other. Both can fail, each can excel.

It has been his experience, Daeschner said, that student-athletes generally out-perform regular school students. Besides that, those involved in extracurricular activities in many cases become the leaders that schools and students can coalesce around. “Students will always need peer heroes in sports and academic achievement,” he said. “We adults have a great say in who the school recognizes and celebrates.”

Budgeting pressures are real – choices have to be made – and they are being forced on school administrators across the country. Nevertheless, responsible decisions are being reached, even if some are painful.

Daeschner, like many others, feels strongly that academics and athletics should play a complementary role, not an adversarial one.

“I have never seen a time when students are more engaged and busy than today’s students,” he said. “I think high school sports play an important role in today’s high school.”

It would be tragic if one day those Friday Night Lights were permanently turned off and a community’s student-athletes disappeared into the darkness, never to be seen again.

Tom Lindley is a sports columnist for the CNHI News Service. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • HallofFameBraves.jpg Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre

    Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's brother claims he's owed $1.7 million that he loaned to keep a family carpet out of bankruptcy in the 1980s.

    July 25, 2014

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results