If a national fundraising effort proceeds as planned, construction of a hall-of-fame museum and research center for high-school athletics will begin in two years.
The National Federation of State High School Associations this year started a national drive to raise $7 million to build a national hall of fame in Kansas City, Mo. The campaign has raised only about $50,000 so far, but the director of the effort says he expects to have enough financial commitments within a year and a half to start construction.
The federation, which represents 50 state athletics organizations, already has honored 36 leading figures in high-school athletics. The federation last year selected 17 administrators, coaches, and officials who have made significant contributions to high-school sports. Nineteen more sports figures--including six players--will be inducted at the federation's annual meeting of athletic directors next month in Orlando, Fla.
Gary Cook, the director of the hall-of-fame effort, said the federation has started seeking funds from major corporations and foundations to support construction of the building. The federation has contracted with the Midwest Research Institute to study the feasibility of maintaining such an organization.
Mr. Cook said a "resource center" would be a major part of the hall-of-fame complex, which will be located adjacent to the federation's national headquarters. That center will maintain statistics and conduct research on sports injuries, sports medicine, financial and management issues, federal and state legal and legislative developments, drug abuse, and the effect of after-school activities on students' academic performance.
A study by the National Collegiate Athletic Association has found that Texas high schools produce far more top college football players than any other state.
Since World War II, the study found, some 85 Texas players have gone on to earn all-America honors in collegiate football. California ranks second with 66, Ohio third with 62, and Pennsylvania fourth with 46. Over that 37-season period, a total of 550 players have earned such honors.
Los Angeles has produced more all-America players than any other metropolitan area, the study found. Thirty-four players from Los Angeles have been named to all-America teams. Eighteen players from both Chicago and Pittsburgh have been named to those teams.
The pre-eminence of Texas in football comes at a time when the sport is under fire. H. Ross Perot, the computer magnate who is chairman of a blue-ribbon committee studing the state's education system, has attacked the emphasis that many high schools place on interscholastic football.
At least some of the gap in understanding between high-school football players and their mothers was bridged this fall at Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, Ill., when a group of mothers showed up for a hands-on clinic in the sport.
Under the guidance of Glenn Schott, the head football coach at Althoff High, 38 mothers attended a daylong clinic that demonstrated the instruction, calisthenics, and drills their sons go through every day of practice. The mothers played the same positions as their sons.
The women said they gained more respect for the work their sons did on the field--and that they would stop worrying about the safety of the game. They also reported that the drills built a sense of comradeship among the mothers that lasted throughout Althoff's 5-3 season.
Said one mother: "There used to be just a couple of mothers at the scrimmages, but this year the bleachers were full. At the games, I used to have to follow his number carefully, but now I usually know where he'll be."
A shoehorn carries the slogan: "Sportsmanship--Always a shoe-in, whatever the feet." A frisbee reads: "Sportsmanship is contagious. Catch it!"
Those novelty items are part of a campaign to arrest an increase in unsportsmanlike behavior at Montana high-school athletic contests.
Daniel Freund, executive director of the Montana High School Association, said several incidents in major athletic contests prompted officials to launch the campaign before more incidents force some schools to forfeit games.
Among the problems were physical abuse of officials, the questioning of some officials' motives, the use of profane language in school cheers, and interference by fans in the playing of games, said Mr. Freund.
Mr. Freund said the effect of the effort--which includes the distribution of leaflets and novelty items, promotion of newspaper articles and radio spots, and instruction of coaches and administrators on how to encourage sportsmanship--will not become clear until the basketball season gets under way.
The campaign so far has been restricted to high schools, but Mr. Freund said elementary and junior high schools soon would be a central part of the program. "It's a prevention effort," he said.
Notes: The National Basketball Association this year will award more than $50,000 in college scholarships, but the criteria for the awards do not include athletic ability. Each of the nba's 23 teams will award at least two $1,000 grants to high-school seniors residing within 75 miles of their home arena; the league will award four other scholarships to students residing more than 75 miles from a professional arena. Students must submit academic records and an essay to win. ... Experts in physiology, sports medicine, and training gathered in Washington last month for a meeting on physical education and medicine sponsored by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. ... The United States Olympic Committee has created a task force on drug abuse to help prevent an Olympics controversy similar to the scandal that disturbed last year's Pan American Games.--ce
Vol. 03, Issue 14