Saturday, October 9, 2010

Football: A Head of School has the wisdom to walk away

I find this story fascinating and so emblematic of how great independent school educators think as well as govern. From the The Boston Globe:

"There was supposed to be a football game between Lawrence Academy and St. George’s on Friday, but some adults wisely put safety ahead of athletics.

St. George’s, a Newport, R.I., school that went winless last year, was slated to match up against Lawrence Academy, a football powerhouse in Groton that won all its games last year, and most by 40 points or more. Lawrence Academy’s roster features 300-plus-pound behemoths and future Division I stars, while St. George’s is not known for football prowess. It was a mistake to schedule this mismatch in the first place. And despite the St. George’s team’s promising 2-0 start this year, the headmaster and athletic director there had ample reason to pull out.

Predictably, a few outraged armchair quarterbacks are now complaining that the adults at St. George’s are teaching their kids to be quitters. But given the physical differences between the teams, neither side would have gained anything from what would likely have been a lopsided victory for Lawrence, and there would have been a heightened risk of injury for the smaller St. George’s players.

At a time when high schools and colleges are growing more aware of the injury risks in football — but when athletic fervor is at an all-time high — St. George’s acted courageously by walking away."

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