Why the SCOL imploded

There is great attention being paid to the three Clinton County Schools that have been hung out by the implosion of the South Central Ohio League. This has huge financial ramifications to these schools. One will look far to find more loyal fans than those of all the present SCOL members. The league just drips tradition and I’m an outsider (Verona, N.Y.) who came here to attend Wilmington College in the 1980s.

If the administrations of London, Hillsboro, Washington Court House, McClain, Chillicothe, Miami Trace and Madison Plains were asked why they left, it’s not geography.

These schools try to field teams to provide competition in this league. These aren’t the good old days when you had kids to spare or had to make “cuts” because you didn’t have enough uniforms. Kids today have many options open for uses of their time.

My opinion and, I think, the truth to the demise of the SCOL is not that Clinton-Massie for years and Wilmington recently are winning, it’s how. We always hear their side of the story and the articles that follow of the winning streaks and the margins of victory. Your opponents read those articles, too.

When you win you have a responsibility to your league members not to destroy their programs. These coaches and athletic departments work as hard as yours. They lose numbers every year because they cannot establish a tradition like Wilmington and Clinton-Massie. To win is one thing. To be leading your opponent by 50 or 60 at halftime is great if you’re Wilmington or Clinton-Massie. Ask your opposing coach how he and his team feels knowing year after year they have to come out and play another two quarters in that position.

Show this letter to those administrations that have said goodbye to the SCOL and see what their reactions are. Wilmington and Clinton-Massie may say, “Too bad for them”; those that left may say, “Good luck in your new league” — if you can find one to let you in! Will it be business as usual in Clarksville and Wilmington in the new league or will they realize the responsibilities they have to their fellow members and the struggles they have in trying to put a competitive team together for even one season, because when you lose a sports program, it’s very hard to bring it back from the dead.

Robert Usborne


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