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Life Lessons

March Sadness

Count me out of March Madness.

I think of it as March Sadness.

People on Facebook have been asking me to join pools and fill out brackets when the time comes, but it’s very hard for me to get worked up over a system that is based on corruption.

Don’t get me wrong. I admire all the practice and discipline that goes into perfecting skills. I admire the work of coaches who create real teams, a group of individuals who care about each other and a common goal. I admire a system where coaches look for ways to motivate and encourage big dreams.

What I can’t respect are low graduation rates, criminal charges, recruiting violations, and poor classroom attendance. I can’t respect a system where supposed institutions of higher learning allow their name to be diminished so that they can reap television money. I don’t like that other final fours — like the Frozen Four in ice hockey — don’t get the respect they deserve.

Yesterday I got into a conversation with a mom while watching a middle school sports event. She told me she thinks that sports are good for young people. I would like to think so, too. I know athletes in tennis, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, softball, baseball, cross-country, swimming, and yes, basketball, for whom sports are a positive force.

Then comes the latest violation, campus arrest, or NCAA sanction.

Still the game goes on.

On second thought, maybe it is March Madness after all. But not the kind that bracket-fillers mean.

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