At first glance I thought this was just another blowout story; one team ran up the score on another. So what? However, one team just dismantling another has never left me with such a bad taste in my mouth before.
According to ESPN.com, the Christian Heritage girls' basketball team of Riverdale, Utah defeated West Ridge Academy of Jordan, Utah, 108-3 last week. Yes, that’s a margin of 105 points.
It's even worse when you consider who was on the receiving end of the incredibly lopsided rout. West Ridge sports the school motto, "We help teens with substance abuse or other difficulties."
Christian Heritage coach Rob McGill has since apologized. His apology, however, like so many before him, contained a giant ''but''. McGill attempted to justify his actions by claiming that slowing down and playing softer would have been even more insulting.
"I have been on the other side of this equation,'' said McGill. ''I didn't want to taunt them, I didn't want to embarrass them, I didn't want them to think we could do whatever we want."
McGill went on to say, "Too many people in the world right now allow the youth to not be as good as they can be, allow them to be lazy. Here, I'm giving them an opportunity to live up to the best of their abilities and be proud of what they're able to accomplish. If that's what I'm being blamed for, then OK, I accept it."
Christian Heritage captain, Brittany Hurlbut showed some class in the aftermath telling ABC4.com, "I want to personally apologize to the team. […] To just say if we hurt any members of the team or the school, we sincerely apologize."
While Hurlbut's apologetic tone is refreshing, who is McGill fooling? This is as low as youth coaching can get. This isn’t the pros, high school basketball doesn't use a ranking system like the BCS. Just win the game by 30, let your players have some fun and maybe use it to work on some things, like implementing a new offense, perhaps? If your team's good enough to score 108, then do some real coaching, please.
I'm OK with running up the score in college and at the professional level , in fact, I'm a fan of it. I've thoroughly enjoyed every Patriots rout in this past decade and I openly root for baseball teams to hit the 20-run mark.
But in high school, things need to be handled in a manner that teaches the young athletes how to act in a responsible way.
Are you ok with this instance of running up the score? Share your thoughts below.
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