Tuesday, February 26, 2008

High school sports on TV: The price

New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick's column, "ESPN, schools invite trouble," is a little over the top, but it informs a larger point about the increasing commercialization, mediation and exploitation of high school athletics by big-time networks like ESPN. Mushnick sounds the alarm about a 9 p.m. high school game in Jersey City, a place he describes a "very tough town" and no place an ESPN exec would want his child after the game was over.
I think that even though Mushnick pushes the envelope a bit, he points to the way coverage of high school sports at the national level can alter the educational values for which scholastic sports were designed. The price for cheap sports programming will become very high if educators and parents do not protect the athletes and the integrity of their sports programs.

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