Perhaps, as some readers pointed out, I’m a being a bit harsh on the IHSA. But until you’ve been mired in that morass known as youth/school sports, you simply don’t understand how it has absolutely nothing to do with the kids anymore.
It’s all about control, making money, and political parents being able to game the system. I’ve seen far too many excellent athletes get so fed up with all the regular shenanigans that they simply walk away.
So I spoke with Aurora Rep Linda Chapa LaVia after yesterday’s three hour plus not quite love fest between House Democrats and the IHSA, and here’s what I learned:
- Don’t seed the crowd with supporters who don’t know how to behave because it never helps your cause. Those IHSA lackeys were loud, obnoxious and rude and it only made the State Reps asking the questions believe they were on to something.
- The Republicans don’t know how to behave either. Instead of encouraging the rabble to maintain some sense of decorum, GOP State Rep John Cavaletto and others had to play to that crowd by issuing random non-sequitur sound bytes which might just explain why Republicans are even rarer in Springfield than the number of minorities working for the IHSA.
- Moving the IHSA’s signature boys basketball tournament from Champaign to Peoria may have made the IHSA a boatload of money, but it’s been an attendance nightmare with the number of paying fans plummeting by 29 percent since 2006.
- The IHSA can’t do math. Despite that Sun-Times cited 21 percent annual increase in salaries and benefits being out there in black and white, IHSA Director Marty Hickman tried to convince legislators it was actually only 8 percent. It must be that new Common Core division.
- Let’s say that’s true (even though it isn’t). How many of you got an 8 percent raise last year with your sales numbers in the tank?
- Minority schools, like many of those in Chicago, tend to get the short end of the IHSA stick.
- Despite making money directly off your children, the IHSA still won’t reveal the number of and extent of their royalty and sponsorship agreements.
- Mr. Hickman and his traveling circus probably won’t get the same kind of warm welcome when the next round of hearings moves to the Second City.
- And lastly, Ms. Chapa LaVia noted that House members have never asked quite as many hearing questions as they did at this one. Perhaps their interest has been piqued.
On to Chicago!