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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Supremes make right decision

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling against Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy Thursday was a victory for high school sports.

The case invovled a dispute between the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association and football power Brentwood over the association's rule barring schools from contacting prospective students about sports programs, according to The Associated Press.

According to the AP, the Court ruled athletic associations can enforce limites on recruiting without violating coaches' free speech rights.

"Hard-sell tactics directed at middle school students could lead to exploitation, distort competition between high school teams and foster an environment in which athletics are prized more highly than academics," the court said in the unanimous ruling.

Said Justice John Paul Stevens: "The dangers of undue influence that exist when a lawyer chases an ambulance are also present when a high school coach contacts an eighth grader."

Wow, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Maybe this will give more teeth to the Louisiana High School Association's recruiting rules and allow for better enforcement. Of course, this is not just directed at private schools but public as well.

Schools can continue to advertise their sports programs, using things like billboards and brochures so everybody has the same opportunity.

To read the Supreme Court's decision click on the link below. The case is Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Assn. v. Brentwood Academy


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