Ahead in the Count

April Madness

An interesting debate has sprung up around this weekend’s ESPN-sponsored National High School Invitational (NHSI) basketball tournament which will tip off at Georgetown Preparatory school in Rockville, MD.

The Washington Post’s high school editor Josh Barr wrote a nice piece today on the event, which highlights many of the issues that arise when shoe companies and television insert themselves into amateur sports. Definitely worth a read.

The tournament field includes perennial powerhouses Oak Hill Academy (check out their crazy website) and Montrose Christian (whose coach, Stu Vetter has referred to the event as “mini-March madness” and a high school national championship) but not a single public school (national rules prohibit their participation) nor DeMatha or Gonzaga, two excellent local programs, both of whom are currently ranked in ESPN’s national top ten. The principals of the WCAC (the conference that both schools compete in) overruled the league’s coaches, forbidding its members from participating.

Findlay Prep's Student Body

Findlay Prep's Student Body

 Thankfully, the NHSI – Coach Vetter’s National Championship – will feature Findlay Prep,a school based in Las Vegas funded by former UNLV player-turned-car dealer (and apparently turned meglomaniac) Clif Findlay. The school has 8 students, all of whom play on the team. The “school’s” website is hilarious.

While I’m still searching for even the slightest reference to academia on the site, one can find a detailed description of the living arrangements the Findlay “students” enjoy:

“The home has two big screens, all new furniture, extra long beds, four bathrooms, a study room with custom desks, wireless internet, full cable TV, two refrigerators kept full, a large backyard and patio, and walking distance to two parks.”

Right around the corner from the library, no doubt. Madness indeed.

April 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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