The debate rages: When is it proper to call off the full-court press? Should a losing team be shown mercy? Aren't some kids simply better suited for Theater Arts?
The chatter still hasn't died down over that recent 100-0 victory by the Covenant School over Dallas Academy in a high school girls basketball game. The losing team was paraded before the press — Good Morning America! MSNBC! — as heroes, while the coach of the winning team was fired. Shouldn't have scored that final point, amigo.
Now, let's bring on the experts. How should blowouts be handled, exactly, when kids are involved?
Dan Doyle, executive director of the Institute for International Sport at the University of Rhode Island, says the solution can be subtle. "The line of demarcation was whether the outcome of the game was still in question," he said. "Once you cross that line, the first thing you stop is the full-court press. Particularly if the press involves traps. You're obligated to put your subs in. You don't need to fast break. I never told my players to miss shots or let the other team shoot, but a discerning coach can manage in a way in which no one is wounded.
"There are so many values that can be taught. There's also the value of empathy. It's at the core of a moral society."
But here's my favorite opinion. From the Amarillo Globe-News:
"I'd be a little embarrassed," said Canyon girls coach Joe Lombard. "It's a tough situation for both teams to be in. Both are probably embarrassed about it. Even if I were winning 100-0, to me it's just an embarrassment because of what happened to the other team. Something like what happened there is just not a healthy thing."
In the same issue of the Globe-News is found the score of the previous night's Canyon girls game: Canyon 74, Hereford 7.