Legacy: the student and the Subaru
Legacy: the student and the Subaru - The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down affirmative action programs that use race as a criterion for college admission. If ivy-covered admissions buildings could talk, you would hear them mumbling, “We ain’t trying to hear any of that, yo!” The more prestigious elite schools reject 95% of applicants who apply and they don’t return the application fees, which would be a trash-canning business that makes $10 million a year just rejecting people. And that money can be used for athletic scholarships given to students, many of whom are below the waterline of basic admissions standards. And now legacies are being challenged in courts. Legacy admissions policies give preference to students whose parents not only went to the school, but are often annual financial donors. Privilege is a place in America, a gated community of social inequality. Just drive around and you’ll get the message. Yank away all athletic scholarships — ironically, the Ivy League doesn’t give any — and the entire fabric of higher education and college sports programs will unravel.
Hello in there - I grew up with my father Tom in a wheelchair. Do you know how many strangers struck up a conversation with him? None, as far as I remember. That’s why I go out of my way to say hello, introduce myself and ask, “What’s putting you in that chair?” And for many, the chair is the least of it; they are globally impaired, but they power through. I saw a guy in Dewey July 4 cheering for kids at the back of a 5K race. I don’t need to be inspired, I don’t need perspective, I don’t go to church, yet it was a spiritual moment and I just thought, “God bless him and God bless us all.” About 1,200 athletes raced, rocked and rolled over three days of the holiday weekend.
You cool! You gone! - ESPN laid off a bunch of on-air personalities who were making big money. According to the New York Post, “ESPN is laying off some of its biggest stars, including Jeff Van Gundy, Max Kellerman, Keyshawn Johnson, Suzy Kolber and Jalen Rose, in a purge that was expected to result in around 20 on-air personalities being let go as the network hopes to save tens of millions of dollars.” Keyshawn Johnson is in the second year of a five-year deal worth about $18 million. I don’t understand anything about being laid off while holding an active contract, but I think the term severance package comes into play. Anyway, a lesson learned — any of us can get gone quicker than you can say “Dagnabbit, Jack Rabbit!”
Unceremoniously sent packing - On July 2, the Phillies sent Kody Clemens to Triple-A to make room for Darick Hall, fully recovered from thumb surgery. Clemens, son of former major leaguer Roger Clemens, hit .230 with four homers in 47 games. Roger attended many of the Phillies home and away games, signed autographs and spent time in the broadcast booth. He came across as a likable dad, but in the end, none of that cut any “wooder ice” (Philly-speak for water ice). And who is Darick Hall? Hall, 27, played at Cochise College, then powerhouse Dallas Baptist before being drafted in the 14th round by the Phillies in the 2016 draft. Kody and Darick are both great guys and super athletes. The business side of sports is as stone cold as a feral Philly street cat.
Snippets - Happy 90th birthday to basketball coach Gene Harris, the legend of Lower Bucks County, where he coached William Tennent High and was dubbed “The Witch Doctor” by celebrated Courier Times writer Dick Dougherty. Gene was also an assistant at Saint Joe’s to Phil Martelli, then sat alongside Pat Kelly at Indian River (except Pat never sat), where they put together a four-year record of 80-4. I remember writing that Gene Harris was like having Charlie Weaver of “Hollywood Squares” on your bench. Gene owns a South Philly rowhouse and for years worked as an usher for Phillies games at Ashburn Alley. Kenny and Becky Riedel are Gene’s grandchildren, as is David Mesquita. There is more, but when you’re 90, most people who know your history are gone or don’t remember. Cape grad Zack Gelof is killing it for the Triple-A Aviators of the Oakland A’s organization. During a recent six-game series against the Round Rock Express, Gelof went 10-for-24 with four home runs and three doubles. He had a hit in every game of the series, including a home run in each of the final four contests. For the season, he’s batting .296 with 11 home runs and 19 stolen bases. The new Fred Thomas middle school in Lewes will be open in fall 2024 with staff and students, and a full array of sports teams. And beyond that, I know nothing, except it will certainly shake things up. The construction of school buildings in the Cape district that has happened since I arrived in Lewes three high schools ago (summer 1975) is mind-boggling, but so is the number of Wawa and Royal Farms stores. Go on now, git!