Great cycling story; do same for high school sports


Published: Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 11:40 p.m.
Congratulations to The Sun on a superb series on bicycling in Gainesville and Alachua County. This is a fine example of a newspaper serving the community and addressing critical local needs with thoughtful reporting.
If The Sun is interested in continuing this emphasis, your editorial staff should consider examining how the newspaper covers local sports. It's coverage of high school sports is woefully inadequate. Yet high school sports are vital to the welfare of our community. It is through sports that our children learn many important life lessons: how to win, how to lose, how to interact with people who differ.
Gainesville has a history of weak support for community recreation programs. In many editorials, The Sun has discussed issues of critical importance to our community. By minimizing coverage of high school sports, The Sun does a disservice to the community it purports to serve.
The most egregious example of The Sun's weak sports coverage is high school basketball. Only rarely does a reporter attend a high school basketball game. Coverage frequently consists of only the box score. The only games rating a story are cross-town rivalries. If a game is out of town, unless it is part of the play-offs, there is frequently no coverage.
Many Florida newspapers excel in the coverage of high school sports. Recently, the Buchholz Bobcats played in the Gulfshore Shoot-out in Naples. Each day the Naples Daily News provided detailed summaries of each game. The newspaper also sponsored the tournament.
The Sun should vow to improve coverage of high school basketball. While your staff is at it, remember, swimming takes place in standardized pools. In reporting results, it is bad form to omit the swimmer's time - sort of like not covering major local sporting events.
Robert G. Frank, Gainesville

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