Brother AACOOLDRE : A racist news editorial?

Discussion in 'AACOOLDRE' started by AACOOLDRE, Oct 30, 2005.


    AACOOLDRE Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Jul 26, 2001
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    Is there a magic glue that could help patch the "community" back into Jackson Community College? A recent board-appointed panel looking at the JCC "disconnect" problem suggested the college should look seriously at an intercollegiate sports program. That may indeed be a glue capable of helping the problem.

    However, it is important to distinguish carefully just what a resurrected sports program would be at JCC -- a popular add-on feature to excite student interest, or a solution strategically important to the college and its mission.

    The reason for making that distinction is simple -- money. It would be costly to restore intercollegiate sports to the JCC program lineup -- possibly $300,000 a year. That multiplies out to $3 million a decade before any inflationary factor is added in, or without even considering the need to update the JCC fieldhouse or modernizing other facilities.

    certainly the board and president would need to be convinced of the rightness of their action before re-introducing sports. And that would be a major reversal of policy. Back in 1982 the JCC Board of Trustees made a decision driven by financial-budgetary considerations. A successful-but-costly JCC sports program was scuttled. That was a time similar to now -- with state budget cuts forcing community colleges to focus on their budget priorities.

    Over the past year or so, other JCC programs have been axed or scaled back as part of budget cutting (the Michigan Space Center, the Dahlem Center, etc.). So the major question regarding sports would be: What is there to justify this programmatic addition at such a time? How might sports be part of a strategy to bridge the connection gap with the community?

    One of the certainties about intercollegiate sports programs is that they stimulate a sense of school pride, or school spirit. That is probably the major reason why 17 of Michigan's 28 community colleges have sports programs. And there is always the chance a sports program might increase JCC's chances to get a millage passed -- though we see little sense in proposing a millage strictly to restore sports.

    Sports programs appeal to many young people, but some sports appeal especially to minority youth. Thus, they can be part of a strategy to stimulate enrollment in the black community. JCC's "disconnect" is broader than that, but it includes the minority community. A more diverse JCC is a more representative community college -- closer in tune with what Jackson County is.

    But for these and other pluses, there are also downsides beyond the financial.

    For example, JCC had a very effective recruiting program for its sports programs years ago; thus, many student athletes were from outside Jackson County. That led to resentment and worked against the very thing athletic programs inspire -- community and school spirit.

    Weighing all the factors, for and against sports, we would favor a plan -- similar to what the board rejected in 1991 -- to phase in just a few sports. Soccer, for example, needn't be that expensive. And if it proved nothing else, the recent collapse of the college hockey program shows that students will pay to play sports -- though there is a point at which fees become counterproductive.

    This, at least, is a place to begin the discussion: a limited restoration of sports, possibly with a pay-to-play component.

    --The Jackson Citizen Patriot

    My response:
    Dear Cit Pat Editorial
    RE: JCC and sports

    I’m just trying to figure out why your editorial board failed to mention the word Basketball when describing the problems of the resentment of out-of-town recruitment. But your paper did make it a point to support a mainly white dominated sport of soccer for JCC to have in the future. When you write about problems in the community and fail to mention the sport which is highlighted as the problem is counterproductive.

    Jackson has problems in minority recruitments not just in sports but in professional fields like Lawyers and Doctors; that our public schools aren’t able to produce? I would bet my money that it would take a succession of about ten graduating classes at Jackson High School just to produce one Black Lawyer and one black doctor. Is this an indictment of our public schools or parents?

    The next time you talk about a problem that has a possible adverse effect on predominant Black Athletes at least you can directly mention the sport (Basketball)your talking about. Then possibly other community leaders can come in with dialogues of alternative solutions. I can’t help but to conclude the exclusion of the word Basketball was intentional and you should explain why you did this to the public.

    Andre Austin