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State of Michigan Football, Pt. 4

"State of" in the sense that Michigan is a state, and in the sense of a condition of being. Part 4: How can the high school game be improved?

Keep Funding, Baby
Nothing will flourish if it isn't given the proper resources, and if you throw enough money into something, it can often succeed despite its best efforts not to (except the Yankees - ZING!). Those who can should continue supporting the football programs around the state, especially those that aren't in position to help themselves. More funding leads to better equipment and coaching, which inevitably leads to better quality athletes coming out.

Abolish Bad MHSAA Rules
This is one area that really holds the state's football talent back. There are three specific MHSAA rules that I think are crap, and should be eliminated.
  1. MHSAA schools are not allowed to travel more than 300 miles for a game, nor are their opponents (there are some nuances, such as they can play anywhere in an adjacent state). This is apparently designed to prevent money from being thrown away for mere high school football games, and to relieve potential stress on high school athletes due to traveling. However, it prevents Michigan teams from playing the best teams in the country (unless they are from Ohio, Indiana, or Wisconsin), decreasing the exposure of the high school game in the state. A Herbstreit Challenge-esque event is out of the question, since it would be against this rule for Michigan teams to play anyone from Texas, California, Florida, etc.
  2. No spring practice. The intent behind this rule is either to allow kids to play other spring sports without the possibility of discipline from their football coaches, or to prevent them from playing sports year-round and wearing out their bodies. The second rationale is crap, because most football players play at least one other sport, and often two. While there is something to be gained by wide receivers and running backs participating in track (for example), not allowing spring football discourages athletes from trying to excel in this sport. In most other states (especially those that take high school football seriously, such as Ohio and Texas), spring football is a way of life.
  3. All-star participation forfeits eligibility. Current MHSAA rules state that any athlete participating in an all-star competition (such as the Army All-American Bowl or the ESPNU Under Armour Game) is ineligible for high school sports. This means that football players must make a choice between participating in an all-star contest or playing a spring (even winter, for much of basketball season falls after the new year) sport. This discourages Michigan athletes who are of a high enough caliber to participate in these contests, reducing exposure for players from the state.
More TV
This would likely take care of itself if some of the other suggestions were to come to fruition (i.e. allowing teams to play at or against Texas schools). With the death of Comcast Local, there is almost no coverage of high school sports, including football, until the state championships. This may be a chicken-and-egg argument, but with better football will come more TV, and vice versa.

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“State of Michigan Football, Pt. 4”

  1. Blogger RJHOVE Says:

    The all star game rule is the dumbest...i remember grady wasn't able to play in one because of that.

  2. Anonymous formerlyanonymous Says:

    The playing of local games on TV isn't a norm in Texas either until the last two years (one of those being the McGuffie ESPN2 game). I may see one game a year on FSN Southwest/Houston outside of the state championship series (they generally show 4A D1, 4A D2, 5A D1, and 5A D2 (the largest 4 divisions). We do benefit having at least one or two teams from the Houston area traveling to Florida or some other location about once every two years. Dallas schools tend to do the same thing. Most people outside their area don't generally care about it though.

    Quality coaching is the tough angle. I'm somewhat curious how coaches salaries work in Michigan. Are they subjected (harsh word choice I know) to normal teaching salaries by the Teacher's Unions, or can they make more money? The football coach at my high school was making more than everyone minus the superintendent for the entire district. Granted our coaching staff was comprised of probably 24 coaches covering 6 football teams (Varsity, JV/A, JV/B, Freshmen A,B,&C). There were at least 2 coaches (HC and OC) that didn't teach any classes other than Football period. I highly doubt Michigan's teacher's union would have the same allowances.

  3. Blogger RJHOVE Says:

    Nope...that's Texas for you

  4. Anonymous formerlyanonymous Says:

    Makes me wonder then how many of the best coaches stay in Michigan, not just the recruits.

  5. Blogger RJHOVE Says:

    word Randle is coming AA this summer on a visit. I didn't think we would be in on him. His folks liked the academic center at LSU. When it comes to academics we can compete with any D1 though