Student kicked off golf team for passing classes too quickly: Are you kidding?
"The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: Hard work, Stick-to-it-ness, and common sense.'” -- Thomas Alva Edison; inventor, businessman, genius, (1847-1931)
The headline read: “High school golfer banned from team ... for studying too hard.”
One could reasonably guess that common sense was going to be tested in this story. If one did make that assumption, one would not be disappointed.
Usually student athletes are prevented from playing high school sports when they can’t keep up with their studies. That makes sense: playing sports is a privilege and getting good grades is, in the scope of the big picture, of the greatest importance and presumably the reason we send our children to school.
What about the case of a student athlete taking extra classes during his first three years of high school because he is excelling in academics? That brings us to a real life story: Joe Gesell of Page High School in Greensboro, N.C., did just that. Because of the extra courses, Joe had just one mandatory course needed to graduate in his senior year, so he enrolled for classes at a local community college to get a head start on college.
So, what’s the problem? Apparently Joe’s eligibility has been compromised because the “powers that be” won’t count his college courses as eligible credits, so instead he has been told he can’t play for the school's golf team because he is not taking enough classes.
He told the local television station he “was looking forward to playing on the team this year because they have a really good chance to make states” and “not being able to do that kind of sucks.”
Joe is right and his father is going to bat for his son and asking the North Carolina High School Athletic Association to reconsider on the grounds that his son should not have to incur a punitive action for doing what he has been taught to do all of his life, namely, that his love of golf needed to be put second behind his academics. He studied hard, got ahead of the game and thought his reward would be a chance to spend some time on his golf game during his senior year; perhaps he might want to play in college and maybe a golf scholarship would help him get into a better school.
Instead, common sense takes a back seat to the rules.
When rules come before principles, we suffer as a society. There is a common sense proverb that fits here: “Some rules are made to be broken.” If you are speeding because you have a person bleeding out in the back seat and you’re trying to get them to the emergency room, common sense says don’t give them a speeding ticket, instead give them a police escort.
Shouldn’t the same be said for this case?
Another case in the news stirs up emotions and perhaps the vindictive minds that want accountability; but, from the world of common sense, this ship has sailed.
Ninety-eight-year-old Michael Karkoc from Minnesota is not only old by most definitions, but also has dementia. Nevertheless, Polish authorities want to extradite him so he can be tried for World War II crimes.
His son Andriy says his father is innocent and wants the evidence released for all to see, and has brought the case to Minnesota Democrat Sen. Al Franken, who has responded by saying that the courts should decide whether or not Karkoc should be extradited.
In the end, common sense gets a back seat here as well. The money wasted to figure this out could be used for education, food for the needy, almost anything would be more worthwhile than this.
Also defying common sense and common decency is the hypocrisy of protecting President Trump and his family.
The Trumps have chosen to reside in two places, with President Trump at the White House in Washington, D.C., while his wife, Melania, and their young son, Barron, stay in Manhattan so Barron can attend school there. Additionally, the family jaunts to their Mar-a-Lago property in Florida regularly, at a cost to taxpayers of about $3 million each time they travel there for a weekend.
At the same time, Trump’s proposed budget cuts eliminate or severely slash many social agencies, as well as research, education and environmental programs, so that he can offset greater spending on our military, and so he can cut taxes for the wealthy.
For instance, he cut the entire $4 million budget for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. At the same time, his first four weekends in Florida have cost $12 million; a disconnect for sure.
The estimate to cover Melania and Barron in Manhattan is set at $1 million a day; a cost that would not be borne by taxpayers if they lived at the White House. It could add up to a billion dollars during his presidency.
Some argue these numbers are inflated; frankly, who cares? A billion, a half-billion; whatever it is, the hypocrisy is what defies common sense.
How do you defend this?