It's a notoriously slow week for college and pro sports across the country. So much so, in fact, that news of the dismissal of a Frederick-area high school softball coach appeared in the L.A. Times today.
Walkersville High softball coach Brad Young hosted a team cookout at his house in June with players and parents. Parents at the party brought a few six-packs of beer, but no minors consumed, nobody got drunk and therefore, nobody got a DUI.
Yet, because the cookout was classified as "an official team function," alcohol was prohibited, despite the fact that the cookout was miles away from the Walkersville campus.
Young, who had just finished his fifth season as coach of the Lady Lions, leading Walkersville to a Regional Title, was shocked by the news of his firing. So were the team's parents.
"None of the students had access to alcohol or were drinking. The girls simply had a lot of fun. And Brad did not drink. In no way shape or form did any parents or school employee put any of the students in jeopardy or do anything illegal or immoral," Bob McNally, father of two softball players, told the Frederick News-Post.
The Frederick County Board of Education created the rule to thwart parents from providing alcohol to minors and taking away their keys.
"Parents were having keg parties and providing alcohol, thinking it was OK because they took the kids' car keys. This policy was created to stop that," said Jean Smith, the Board of Education President.
Obviously, Young's cookout was not an avenue in which any minors had access to the booze. Nobody, not even those of age, was drinking in excess.
In an interview with the News-Post, Young cited a team trip to a bowling alley in Walkersville where alcohol is served.
"We took a group in there one day and used seven lanes. The people at the eighth lane were drinking beer. Did we violate the policy then?" Young said.
Admittedly, Walkersville holds a soft spot in my heart, as News-Post sports editor Stan Goldberg often sent me to cover Lions games from February to May. Though I never met Young, I do feel for the guy, who was unaware he was violating school policy in the tamest way possible.