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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The end of civility

If you work at a newspaper's sports department long enough, then you'll hear about how awful the professional and college athletes are these days. You'll hear how boorish their behavior is. You'll hear how the only purity in sports can be found at the high school level.


On Tuesday night, I witnessed one of the most disrespectful acts I've seen at a high school sports event. When Captain Shreve coach Ronnie Coker came to change pitchers in the bottom of the seventh inning against Haughton, his pitcher - who shall remain nameless - flipped the ball in the air in disgust and let it fall to the ground for Coker to pick up.

So the boorish behavior isn't limited to the colleges and pros. It has seeped down into the high school ranks.

To Coker's credit, he didn't choke the pitcher.

But as someone who has been around high school baseball for nearly 30 years, let me just say there is an old coach somewhere in Jackson, Miss., who would not have handled that situation nearly as calmly as Coker did.


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