Last Tuesday at the office building of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, 49 athletic directors gathered for training. All are first-year ADs, and 38 of them were attending their second training session at the MHSAA.
It was the fourth session for new athletic directors the MHSAA has hosted since late July. A total of 113 different first-year ADs attended.
That’s a typical number of new ADs. And we’re experiencing the typical problems with mistakes and oversights that turn into ineligibilities and forfeits that come not just from new ADs but also from more veteran ADs who have had many new duties added to their days, but with less time and help to do everything that needs to be done.
At one school, an overwhelmed AD resigned after his school’s football and soccer teams had both used ineligible players. The school posted the job opening to replace him with the salary set at 50 percent above the previous pay. It has learned that cutting the budget for sports administration can do a lot more harm than good.
Full-time, continuously trained athletic administrators are essential to the conduct of safe and successful interscholastic athletics. There are no shortcuts to success, and a competent leader who is hungry to keep learning about policies, procedures and best practices is the starting point.