With all the buzz about laying off teachers, increasing class sizes, and cutting whole programs to balance the state budget, I’ve been wondering when someone would ask high school athletics to share the pain. The Keller school district finally has, and kudos to them for recognizing that, despite Texas’s unhealthy obsession with football, a bunch of kids throwing a ball around on a field is not an untouchable expense.
I know, I know – football is the entire reason some student athletes manage to stay in school and graduate. That’s fine. I also know some kids who would’ve never survived their high school years without the refuge of a musical instrument or the drama department. But all the talk about “making tough decisions” isn’t serious unless we take a deep breath and confront the sentimental hokum that enshrouds the favorite sport in this state.
In other words — the thinking adults in the room need to stand up and insist that if the situation is as dire as state officials tell us, then athletic programs including football must stand in line at the chopping block along with English, math, science, and arts programs. Preferably, athletics needs to go to the front of that line. After all, folks, it’s only a game. Even in Texas.