In an e-mail to superintendents, principals and athletic directors last week, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) sent a reminder in advance of the many holiday tournaments held every year across the state to be aware of chants and unsportsmanlike behavior. Nothing more, nothing less, than what has been shared across the membership via the Sportsmanship Manual dating back to 2005.
However, the national media caught wind of the email and turned it into a major story that has led to a student suspension for her reaction on Twitter, students protesting at games and even signing petitions. You can read more on the WIAA issue from our sister network, Wisconsin Radio Network.
Jason West, Communications Director for MSHSAA, was at a regional meeting with his Wisconsin counterpart Todd Clark, who told West he sent out an email reminder about sportsmanship and nothing more was made about it. West was surprised it created such a big controversy.
West talks with me about MSHSAA’s stance on sportsmanship when it comes to cheering at high school games and says the view of how fans should treat student-athletes doesn’t vary much from state to state.