Bill is wrong

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 13, 2006

R-C News-Herald Editorial

Sometimes we wonder what goes through the minds of our legislators.

House Bill 1864 and it’s equivalent across the way, Senate Bill 171, certainly begs for it.

Those House and Senate bills would take away governing authority from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association when it comes to conference alignment and make sure that six small schools in eastern North Carolina would compete only against themselves.

One certainly sees why Charlie Adams’s 22 years at the helm of the NCHSAA pales in comparison to that of the legislators who have sponsored the two bills.

A quick search shows that Representative Timothy L. Spear, who has been in the house a mere five months, has a claim to fame of being a retired Clerk of Superior Court in Washington County.

That certainly seems to qualify him for inclusion among those who make decisions about the conference alignment of high school sports.

On the senate side, a state legislator from Rutherford County has his name on legislation that would create a small conference. His occupation? He’s an attorney from a western county who included language in his bill that said &uot;the unique geography of coastal counties is an important consideration.&uot;

We’re glad to know that an attorney from Rutherfordton is so in touch with the needs of coastal counties.

If one assumes, and we think one could, that Senator Walter H. Dalton, the Rutherford County Democrat in question, could care less about Bear Grass, Cape Hatteras, Creswell, Jamesville, Mattamuskeet and Columbia, it begs the question of why would he introduce such legislation.

It seems highly unlikely it would have been done without the push of Senate President Protempore Marc Basnight (D-1st), who represents four of the five counties that would be effected.

During the vote taken last year, Senator Robert Holloman (D-4th), who represents Gates County, voted in favor of the bill. This was a grave error in judgment and one we hope he will correct.

It is not our senator’s job to vote the will of the leadership, but to represent the people of his district. This bill negatively effects Gates County and Holloman should champion the Red Barons.

We hope that Representatives Howard Hunter Jr. (D-4th) and Michael Wray (D-27th) will fight against this bill and keep the General Assembly out of high school athletics. They belong in government, not sports.