The demise of sports’ ‘innocent age’

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From the Rose Law Group Growlery

By Phil Riske, managing editor

When you’re the son of the high school football coach in a small town, you are automatically known by your name.

Such was my situation. So, you’d think I was a football player. Nope.

Too small, with little skill. Had to settle for wrestling where your opponent is your own size.

Despite not playing football, as the sons of a coach, my brothers and I became highly educated about the game. To this day, I can explain a “Trap 7” play.

While my Dad was coaching, sports were generally viewed as a wholesome, positive element of American society. Stars were role models and beloved. They represented an “innocent age.”

What has happened?

That’s a question I would like to ask my Dad were he still alive. What would he tell me about concussions causing star football player suicides? How is it star players end up in prison for murder? How is it the billion-dollar NFL business ignored domestic abuse? Drug abuse?

How is it a college basketball player does time for points shaving?

Why do college football players get off the hook for rape and lesser social crimes?

Why are players only one year out of college making millions in the pro leagues? Is a major league pitcher worth $206 million for the six years he hasn’t even played yet?

Why is it college coaches make 10 times the salaries of university presidents?

There’s not the space here to list all the questions.

At the high school football field in my hometown, there’s a scoreboard sign dedicated to my late father for his years of coaching in the age of sports innocence.

It’s said there’s a silver lining in every cloud. Perhaps it’s that he hasn’t had to witness the corruption in and demise of sports.





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December 2015