Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Decree Defied.(Final)

Byline: Randy Harrison Journal Staff Writer

The NMAA's message on sportsmanship might be heard, but it's not necessarily heeded

A part of the pregame ritual for any New Mexico high school sport requires head coaches to sign a document.

It asks two questions. One is if the team's players are properly equipped and know the sport's rules.

The other: "Have you talked to your kids about the importance of sportsmanship and the role it plays in interscholastic athletics?"

Coaches can check yes or no.

"But if it's 'no,' we don't play," says Ric Maxey, assistant director of the New Mexico Activities Association. "You'd be surprised how some smart-aleck coaches have checked 'no' and then how quickly they're over there talking to their kids."

The gospel of good sportsmanship is being sounded in the state's high schools. Anyone who has sat through state tournament sessions and heard the New Mexico Activities Association's seemingly incessant public-service announcements on the subject say "amen. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.