Now is the time for good sportsmanship

Published 7:46 pm Thursday, March 19, 2020

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People have asked me many times if the suspension of athletics was the right thing for the NCAA and the NCHSAA to have done. Absolutely! There comes a time when our safety is more important than winning or losing, and this virus is something I hope we all take serious.

For some people, athletics is the only thing that is common among friends. I applaud the conferences for their suspension of spring games, and let us all hope and pray that it will only be temporary. I do feel sorry for those who participate and whose livelihood is dependent upon these games. Please do not feel sorry for professional athletes, because they make too much money as it is.

I feel sorry for those young kids who had dreamed of playing for a state championship only to have it snatched away at the last minute and the many coaches who led these young players through a grueling season and never won a state championship themselves. I have said many times that athletics builds character, and that is what I am sure these young people have learned. I feel for towns like Farmville, who had both boys and girls basketball teams going to Chapel Hill, and the recognition it would have brought the town is now no longer an option. It was a rallying point for the town, and everyone was heading to Chapel Hill for the games.

Think about the colleges that had players playing their final seasons and wanted to play in conference tournaments and finals of college baseball. Let us hope that the NCAA will restore their eligibility so that they may have another chance to play. I have watched college athletes put so much into their development and hate it that their seasons were canceled, but I feel it was the right thing for the leagues to do.

Anyone complaining about the cancellations is only being narrow-minded in my opinion. There is more to life than just athletics! This is a time that we as a country need to pull together and stay positive about our government and the progress they are making in preventing the spread of coronavirus. Parents, your children are watching you and how you handle this pandemic will always be etched in their memories.

If you want to feel sorry for anyone, then feel sorry for those that families depend on lost income such as security guards, concession workers, officials, ticket takers, employees of sporting goods businesses and the many others whose families depend on the money they make at athletic events to feed their families. This is a time in America where we need to show good sportsmanship and pull for the others. Please remember, “There are small eyes and ears that are hearing and seeing our every action” as we handle this dangerous time in our lives. So, let us all pull together as one team and help others who need our help the most. This too shall pass!

I have learned many lessons between two white lines and am thankful for my coaches every day! Especially now!


— Harold Jr.