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Sunday, Apr. 26, 2015

Sportsmanship, Indy 500 and clock issues up for discussion

Posted Thursday, May 8, 2008, at 7:16 PM

I had no intention of writing about sportsmanship, or anything related to it, but the beginning of this column will touch on it after a couple of phone calls I received earlier this week,

The first one was from Bloomfield High School boys golf coach Monte McIntosh.

After his Cardinals defeated Shakamak in a dual match Tuesday at the Phil Harris Golf Course in Linton, McIntosh wanted to speak about the Lakers instead of his Cardinals.

"I just want them to know that things can only improve for them. They have got freshmen in the program," he said. "They just have to keep practicing and playing.

"If they continue to work at it, they will get better."

He said he saw some bright spots for the Lakers.

"When you are not winning, everybody has a long face," said McIntosh. "I have seen that in the past with some of my teams. This has been a much better year for us, but we are still not setting the world on fire.

"I just don't want these kids at Shakamak to get down on themselves. It will happen for those kids. They were courteous and very well behaved. I want to encourage that."

John Wilden, Garrett Scott, Jacob Gambill, Jordan Langford, Nick Harris and Chris Johnson are the players that competed for SHS Tuesday against Bloomfield.

"They have some kids that have a good opportunity to become pretty good golfers," said McIntosh. "If they continue to work and pay their dues, it will pay off some day for them.

"The Gambill boy was a super courteous kid. We had a chance to talk at the end of the match. I talked with the father of the Wilden boy. His son is just a freshman, but he really enjoys playing golf. Unlike most of the other high school sports, golf is something that can last the rest of your life."

Linton-Stockton girls tennis coach Brad McKinney's Lady Miners defeated South Knox 4-1 in match earlier this week. McKinney said the final score was deceiving and knows that the Lady Spartans are constructing a program that will undoubtedly become successful in the future.

"They have done the things the right way in trying to build that program," said McKinney. "They started playing tennis at junior high and then played a junior-varsity schedule before they were ready to move up to the varsity.

"They have a really nice squad. The score was very deceiving. There were a lot of tight matches and we had to earn it."

McIntosh added that the landscape for high school sports has forever been changed and it is something he has to deal with as a coach.

"Kids are just not into sports like they used to be," he said. "Now they are into computer games and they have cars and jobs.

"When we were kids, we took every advantage of every chance to play ball in the park."

He said he would like to see more kids involved in golf, whether they play at Shakamak, Bloomfield or White River Valley.

"The kids that do well are the kids that put in the time," he said. "We have some kids that play a lot and they are doing consistently well.

"If you are a seasonal player, you are not going to do as well."

Everybody wants to win, but some sports at certain schools are treated differently, especially in the spring.

It might be easier for a golf coach or tennis coach to heap praise on an opponent than it is during football or basketball season.

But kindness and respect are never out of season.

Good luck to all the competitors in this weekend's Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference track and field, boys golf and girls tennis championships.

As always, it will be a chance for local athletes to test their will and mettle against some of the best from the area.

Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate.

There is something I have been wanting get off of my chest for a while now.

In my humble opinion, it is too late that the Indy Racing League and the Championship Auto Racing Teams got together so that all of the best drivers in open wheeling racing, the ones that haven't left for NASCAR, could run against each other at the 2008 Indianapolis 500.

Maybe I am just a tired, old and bitter man, but the 500 is not the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" anymore, nor has it been that in years.

Maybe I was spoiled by watching guys like A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al and Bobby Unser, Tom Sneva and Rick Mears battle each other for 500 miles or disillusioned by people with money fighting about control and power.

There may be a yard of bricks at the start-finish line, but that's about all that is the same at the 2 1/2-mile oval in Speedway, Ind.

Even Jim Nabors' version of "Back Home Again in Indiana" can't save what used to be a can't miss sporting event.

I heard a commentator once say that teams should be able to expect to have a competent run athletic event.

Was that the case the other night during the Orlando at Detroit second-round NBA playoff game?With the technology available today, I can't believe that there was no way to correct the final 5.1 seconds of the third quarter.

The Pistons had to go the length of the floor and the clocked stopped at 4.8 during the play. The clock finally started and went to 0:00 just before Detroit guard Chauncey Billups hit a 3-pointer to put the Pistons ahead by one point.

After the referees were made aware of the clock error, they determined that the play was legal and the 3-pointer counted.

If I remember correctly, a similar thing happened some years ago in a Midwest Regional semifinal NCAA Tournament game between Michigan State and Kansas in 1986.

The officials allowed the game to continue for about 15 seconds when the clock was stuck at 2:21 remaining in regulation.

Kansas tied the score in the final seconds and won in overtime and eventually advanced to the Final Four.

"It was a mistake that could have been rectified,'' Edward S. Steitz, the official editor and interpreter of the NCAA men's basketball rules, told The Kansas City Times some 22-years ago.

''They blew it,'' said Steitz, who blamed the official timer, Larry Bates, and the other officials for allowing the game to continue and then not correcting the error before the end of regulation.

Nobody ever figured out if it was a mechanical or operator error, but officials at Kemper Arena spent $10,000 to replace the clock.

If memory serves, the NCAA changed the rule and allowed any similar situations to be corrected by having a clock superimposed on a TV monitor and the time adjusted accordingly.

For an NBA administrator, not commissioner David Stern I noticed, to say the refs made the right call according to the rules is ludicrous.

We have the technology people, use it. Mr. NBA Big Stuff are you listening? Change the rule now before it really affects the outcome of a playoff game.

B.J. Hargis is a sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 287-4487, ext. 12 or at hargisbj@yahoo.com.

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