Student Well-Being

Looking Back on the Top K-12 Sports Stories of 2013

By Bryan Toporek — December 30, 2013 2 min read

While the year 2013 didn’t have anything as momentous as the 40th anniversary of Title IX when it came to K-12 sports, there wasn’t exactly a shortage of news, either.

The year began with the hacktivist group “Knight Sec” posting a set of documents online called “The Steubenville Files,” which documented an alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl by high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio. In March, two players were found guilty of rape, and this fall, five school officials were indicted by a grand jury in connection with the incident.

We’ve also seen a number of schools, districts, and states grappling with contentious mascot issues in 2013. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights back in February, asking for a ban on the use of American Indian mascots and imagery in K-12 schools that receive federal funds. (The federal OCR dismissed said request in June.) A California high school came under fire in November for its “Arab” mascot, while earlier this month, the Houston Independent School District board of education tentatively banned “culturally insensitive” mascots.

Additionally, six states passed youth-concussion laws in 2013, bringing the total number of states with such laws up to 49 (plus the District of Columbia). Heading into 2014, Mississippi is the only state without any form of youth-concussion legislation on the books. (You can browse each state’s law in our interactive map.)

Before the calendar flips to 2014, here’s a look back at the 10 most-read Schooled in Sports posts this year (including a few blasts from years past!).

10. Academic Predictions for the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Before this year’s March Madness tipped off, the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport published its annual report examining graduation-rate trends for the 68 teams participating in the 2013 NCAA tournament. Had academics determined who advanced in each matchup, the University of Kansas would have prevailed as champions. (The University of Louisville, who won the actual NCAA tournament, would have been knocked out in the Round of 32 by the University of Missouri.)

9. Schools Don’t Sacrifice Academics for Athletics, Analysis Suggests

High schools that succeed athletically aren’t necessarily punting on their academic success, suggested an analysis published in the

A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.