For the past ten days I have counted down, my top ten sports stories of 2017. We have seen triumph on the basketball court as well as the football field. We have seen new faces in leadership positions. We have seen outstanding individual performances. These all led up to number one. While most stories on the list are positive and feel good. This years top story is not quite a feel good on all aspects…
The #1 sports story of 2017 is: The NAIA Championships leaving College of the Ozarks.
The NFL players that have been taking a knee during the national anthem has drawn national attention. It has people all over the nation taking sides on the issue.
True to its patriotic mission the school came out on the side of showing the proper respect for the flag and our veterans. In fact they took it a step further. They requested all teams that play against Bobcat and Lady Cat teams to sign a pledge that all team members would stand for the pledge.
That naturally led to questions about the National Championships. The school would like to have seen the NAIA adopt its “no pledge-no play” policy. However, the organization decided it would not take a stance on the issue. “The NAIA respects the rights of all our members to determine the best course of action for their teams in regards to the national anthem,” NAIA President Jim Carr said in a release.
The College was hoping that they and the NAIA could come together, but that was not to be. So, the school, citing its core patriotic mission and not wanting to be hypocritical of its values, asked the organization to move its Championships elsewhere.
As I stated at the time. I will miss the Championships being here. I will miss working that week and calling games for teams from all over the nation. I will miss getting to see all that talent assembled at the Howell Keeter Athletic Complex. But, at the end of the day. I am proud of my school and stand behind Dr Davis and his decision.