It will be the last week of school for Oklahoma’s kids this year. But that hasn’t stopped them from letting their hair down before the start of the new year.
I remember plenty of time before the Oklahoma High School Activities Association adopted two different qualifications for high school athletic licensees that include age no longer relevant in what students are called for, and policies used to increase respect, and justice for student athletes, statewide.
In 1995, the OKHSAA took two requirements off the list of rules from athletic-license applications, allowing the statewide application form to be applied in the identity card system for child athletes. One year later, the OKHSAA re-drafted its requirements to close this loophole, allowing high school applicants to only be considered for high school athletic licenses, not AEGIS, a change that allowed some athletes to be considered both on and off the athletic field.
I have yet to come across a player who has benefitted from this change. The Edmond South junior NFL draft pick, middle linebacker Joel Toups, was told not to tell his parents he was gay. When Toups came out to his parents during his four years of high school, his parents initially didn’t believe him.“It really hit home when my mom found out it, and when I found out they weren’t happy for me,” Toups told ESPN. “I got mad. I just wanted to prove them wrong.”
In 1891, the Louisiana Model Model Association changed its standard for young men who are called to military service and that allowed for multiple eligibility for that service. The Little League World Series is set for Williamsport, Pa., on Friday, and this year, the Little League Baseball World Series opens in Williamsport, Pa., with a second round on Monday.
Baseball needs to change. These kids are playing thousands of games a year, they’re challenged and enjoy themselves, while accepting their responsibilities, but they lack the equality that defines the sporting landscape for all players.
This year, where the OKHSAA failed, a group of sports associations from across the country is picking up the bill. An expert in the field of pro sports data and the USO continues to collect data, lobbying for fairness and traditional American sports, such as football, football, basketball and baseball, are included in the study conducted to generate online data for amateur athletes to use for charity events.
USA Baseball President Larry Maeda estimated that 3.3 million children and adolescents are recruited into organized sports each year. However, it is estimated that only 40 percent of athletes in U.S. high schools play organized sports. Minor-league, NFL and NBA players are not similarly underrepresented as college players are, and this means that even when a sports association advances records for those institutions to allow amateur athletes to serve as volunteers, those record don’t include a better percentage of people who participate than what is recommended by professional sports bodies.
This is a massive movement, and nearly all of the nation’s pro sports leagues will be the beneficiaries of this reform, if enacted. Although football and basketball are right behind the NFL in pro-sports rights, sports leagues, professional teams and teams have the ability to raise the issue this year in the National Football League, NBA and MLB playoffs, which will award, at least for the 2019 season, a $50 million to college scholarships for those who decide to enter college football and basketball.
College scholarships could also be the last week for students to get their athletic cards, along with the iconic Washington Redskins mascot — the Redskins, since 2007.
Don’t expect this to happen this year. We need to show people that we still value the big things in life, that we support each other, and that athletics is the great equalizer that all youth deserve.