The night of Tuesday, Jan. 29, was a busy one for high school athletics in the Fayetteville area.
There was the usual slate of high school basketball we see this time of year.
There were also multiple local wrestling teams competing in the first two rounds of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association dual team state tournament.
There was something else going on Tuesday night, too.
Atlantic Coast Conference basketball. A lot of it.
North Carolina visited Georgia Tech. North Carolina State was home for a big game with Virginia. Clemson also hosted Pittsburgh.
I know I’m a voice crying in the wilderness, but it’s a sad thing to see the college game invading what used to be a sanctuary for high school basketball on Tuesday nights. Tuesdays are always a tough night for high schools to draw a decent crowd anyway. School obligations sometimes force students and their families to stay home.
It was not that long ago that the great Dean Smith, longtime coach at the University of North Carolina, did everything in his power to make sure his Tar Heels avoided Tuesday and Friday basketball games.
When there was a Tuesday game on the schedule, the ACC would send out a heads up to schools so they could possibly try to alter their schedules and move the game to a different date.
Of course, this is no real surprise. College football has made regular encroachments into the once hallowed ground of Friday night high school football. College football plays nationally-televised games regularly against the sport most high schools rely on to make the biggest payouts at the gate and thus bankroll the whole athletic program.
If the college football powers that be are going to ignore the plight of cash-strapped high school programs without showing any sympathy, the least they could do is make cash contributions to state high school organizations. The funds could possibly be shared with the schools to help keep their athletic programs afloat.
Of course, despite the millions of dollars floating around in college bank accounts, they claim they can’t afford to compensate their own athletes for their time, so I guess paying high schools is out of the question.
• It’s time to start signing up for the sixth annual Bulldog Bash, the Al Munoz Memorial 5K run held in memory of the late Terry Sanford High School cross country coach.
This year’s event is scheduled Saturday, March 16, at 8 a.m. The annual run/walk will begin and end at the Terry Sanford High School campus.
To register, go online to Active.com and search for the Al Munoz Memorial 5K.
• The Gray’s Creek High School baseball team is holding its annual golf tournament on Saturday, March 16, at Cypress Lakes Golf Course.
There will be a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The format is four-person captain’s choice.
Tournament entry costs $65 per player. Lunch is included in the entry fee and will be provided by Paradise Acres.
For more information on the tournament, call Ronnie Shipman at 910-736-6996.
All proceeds from the event will go toward field and equipment upgrades for the Gray’s Creek High School baseball team.
Photo: Dean Smith