Another way to look at the public-private issue
Will we ever see issues about competitive balance settled? Will private schools break away from the public schools and form their own organization, or vice versa?
Instead of continually arguing about the differences, maybe we need to embrace them. That's right, give schools the choice of what they want to be -- stick to traditional ways, or go all out in search of athletic supremacy.
With that in mind, I've put together guidelines for the two groups - future and traditional.
You might notice that these points are football-centric. That's OK because every public-private argument usually ends up being about football, anyway.
-- Football games will be spread out over Thursday, Friday, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening to accommodate regional television opportunities.
-- Schools will be encouraged to open their borders to attract the best student-athletes possible in order to win more games and appease corporate sponsors.
-- Each school will be a part of a megaconference. The first eight games will be scheduled in advance. The last two will be announced after Week 8, so as to maximize computer-point and attendance potential.
-- Every school will make the playoffs, which will last until the weekend before Christmas. The seeding will be determined by a combination of computer points, a selection committee made up of retired coaches and how many Twitter followers a team's official handle has.
-- Each player will only be eligible for one sport. When that sport isn't in season, the player will do specialized offseason training and receive coaching specific to his position by an expert referred to as a "guru."
-- Preseason rankings will be based on how many Division I scholarship offers a team has and its combined star rankings on recruiting websites.
-- Bands and cheerleaders would be considered unnecessary expenses. That money would used on strength and conditioning equipment.
-- On national signing day, afternoon classes will be canceled so the school can hold a pep rally and look good when its blue-chip prospects make their college choices on live television.
-- Students can only play sports in the district they and their families live in -- the entire immediate family.
-- The coaching staff will only consist of teachers at the school.
-- Conferences will have eight schools. They will play three nonconference games, followed by seven league games.
-- There will be no playoffs in football. The last game of the season will be against a neighborhood rival, and it will have a nickname like "The Big Game." A trophy will be on the line, something like a hubcap found on the side of the road, half in one team's city, half in the other's -- because things like that happen for a reason.
-- The end of football season will be followed by a mandatory week off before winter sports begin. No practice, no conditioning, no film, no anything (besides studying).
-- Players will not be allowed to wear wristbands with codes written on them. The only plays a team can run are the ones everyone remembers.
-- Teams can travel no farther than 20 miles on a school night, or 50 on a weekend. Schools in rural areas will be allowed a surplus, measured in country miles.
-- No sports drinks during timeouts. Only water.
-- All fans will voluntarily buy a strip of 50/50 raffle tickets, then give back a portion of the pot if they win.
-- On national signing day, students will fax letters of intent to their colleges of choice in the morning and then go to class.
- Howard Primer