The series of Examiner articles currently running about high school athletics has been a long time coming.

The series of Examiner articles currently running about high school athletics has been a long time coming.

I have received feedback where ever I’ve gone – church, golf course, grocery store, e-mail in-box, etc. The opinions have been similar in all cases – strong agreement.

I still don’t have an answer to the question, “Why have school officials become the enemy”? It has not been that long ago that high school coaches were among the most respected individuals in the community. They were viewed as positive role models by both students and parents.

That view has turned to one of utter disrespect. It has become accepted and sometimes expected for fans to curse them, threaten them and alienate them.

Whenever I run into coaches, I always ask if they are really enjoying their coaching jobs. The overwhelming answer to that questions has become an emphatic “No.” The “why” question always follows with the same reply. Pressure from parents and little league coaches has made the job nearly impossible.

That has been my indicator of the seriousness of the situation. I have always encouraged past players to enter the field of education and high school athletics. Now I find myself trying to convince them not to leave that field.

It has never been a high-paying career, but the non-monetary rewards used to prove to be far greater. Education MUST continue to attract quality, caring individuals to lead our youth.

I made my living for 36 years in education and coaching and loved every minute of it. I have no regrets. I was led into that career by coaches and teachers I loved and respected. I hope the pendulum will swing that direction once again.

- I look forward to and enjoy March Madness every year. It is the reason I  have a difficult time with the NCAA Division I lack of a decent football  playoff system.

- Baseball opening day is March 31 – it makes a lot of bad things feel much  better.

- Don’t be surprised if the NBA finals look the same as always – Lakers  versus Celtics.

n My quote of the week is from American writer Herbert N. Casson: “In  handling men, there are there feelings that a man must not possess – fear,  dislike and contempt. If he is afraid of men, he cannot handle them. Neither  can he influence them in his favor if he dislikes or scorns them. He must  neither cringe nor sneer. He must have both self-respect and respect for  others.”