Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The freedom of anonymity?

Does making an anonymous assertion free a person from consequence when the consequence might be feared? Or does it free the person from the responsibility of making a well-thought, well-researched point? As is often the case, the answers can be yes to both.

Consider this from the "Sound Off" section of today's Waukesha Freeman:

Hockey co-op

You have made me tired. I am tired of reading and viewing full color photos and the greatness that surrounds a co-op that should not be, the Catholic Memorial High School-Pius hockey co-op.

As stated: We would be two average teams without a co-op. This statement explains the real reason to combine, to WIN conference.

There has been a mockery of the WIAA rules, regulations and the sole purpose of high school sports. I can only shake my head in disbelief that certain programs are allowed to play by a different set of rules.

Share your thoughts about any topic and look for your comments in an upcoming issue of The Freeman. Responders are encouraged, though not required, to sign their name. Please provide a phone number for verification of name. Phone: 513-2641 E-mail: soundoff@conleynet.com Mail: The Freeman, Attn. Sound Off, 801 N. Barstow St., Waukesha, WI 53187

As someone who has just started to attend high school hockey games and have found them very exciting to watch, I may not be the best judge on this one. Additionally, I tend to dismiss anonymous assertions altogether, but the Freeman is comfortable publishing them widely.

The easiest point to make -- the point about CMH and Pius having two average teams without the co-op -- was made by a student. Thus, it comes from the perspective of a teenager who views the joy of the game, and the success of the endeavor, through a teenager's eyes. He should not be faulted for his enthusiasm.

The anonymous writer can be assured that for the administration, staff, and coaches of CMH, Pius, and hopefully, all the other schools who participate in about 25 high school co-op hockey teams in the state, and the WIAA, entering into these co-ops is done for the well-being of the participating student-athletes. While numerically speaking many such schools could field a team (average or otherwise), often this would require far more playing time than might be good for student-athletes; or for younger, smaller, less-experienced freshmen to play up against (and be checked into the boards by) older, larger, more experienced seniors.

Every school hopes for the depth of student body to be able to field all sports teams on their own. But, for five of the nine teams in the conference in which the CMH/Pius co-op plays, this is not possible. In fact, it is even the case that all three of of Waukesha's public high school (each larger than CMH) are joined in a co-op arrangement for hockey. The nine team conference actually represents 15 different schools.

I hope that this information and background gives the anonymous writer a better sense of how these co-ops come to be.

Fr. Paul

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