Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2006

Forget the rumor mill for once

September 21, 2006

My, my, my, hasn't the Baldwin City rumor mill been in overdrive this week?

Nothing like a drug situation at Baldwin High School to do that, especially when it involves athletes. Jaws have been flapping like crazy since word of the use of an Attention Deficit Disorder drug by members of the football team hit.

But, just what is true and just what isn't? Good question.

I can never recall a story that I've had more conversations about, whether that was face-to-face, on the phone or e-mail. Yes, everyone is talking about it. Well, except those that have the real answers.

And, please don't take me wrong, those in the know should not be saying anything more than is legally allowed. That means the school district administration and the police. We're talking about young lives here and they shouldn't be scarred by either unfounded acquisitions or a mistake they've made along the way that hurt no one but themselves.

By the same account, those that are guilty should face punishment. There has to be consequences for their actions. I truly believe that's happened. I know suspensions have been handed down. How severe, I can't tell you. I don't know. Honestly.

I do think it's important to dispel many of the rumors that have floated around town, only getting bigger and bigger as they go. One of those is how many were involved. At its peak -- and I think that had to do with one of several bogus television news stories -- the number was as high as 20. Well, I have it on good source that it was less than 10. I've had it by others that it was seven. Since seven is less than 10, that's what I believe.

Another blatantly wrong story had a local business involved as the source of the pills. That simply is not true. I have that on good source, too. And, again, I think that was from the good ol' "if it bleeds, it leads" television news.

I've heard many other disturbing things, which I won't even give credence to by going into details. What I will say is there is no one more sickened by this whole mess than BHS football coach Mike Berg. He in no way shape or form had anything to do with it. Unfortunately, it was his players that chose to make bad choices.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Berg for years. I walked the sidelines with him for years covering the Bulldogs, taking pictures and being the unofficial statistics man. Well, actually, I was official. They were the stats he used. I never got a dime, though.

But, I had payment beyond that -- well beyond that. I had a front-seat pass as I watched him take a dreadful, winless program to the heights of routinely winning seasons and trips to the playoffs.

And, he did it with pure class.

I've been around way too many coaches than I care to admit over the years. Some have been good and lost, others have been bad and won. I can honestly say I've never been around a finer coach than Mike Berg.

This has been the most difficult time of his coaching career. I can't even begin to imagine what it's been like. But, I can imagine that he and his Bulldogs will come through it in flying colors.

We need to all get behind Berg and the Bulldogs. That means letting go of the rumor mill trash talk. These are things I do know for sure.

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