An Interview with Athletic Director Michael Jackson
Broadside reporter Sadhya Garg interviewed via email Athletic Director Michael Jackson over his thoughts of Council’s controversial Council’s Written Motion
Sadhya: What are the current policies regarding athletes and family travel over break? (commitment, mandatory practices, consecutive days off?)
Michael Jackson: The athletic department policy is that family comes first and that means that a student-athlete that goes on vacation with his/her family will not be punished. Their place as a starter etc may be affected upon their return only in that while they are gone, they miss out on conditioning and other important parts of practices. It may take them some time to get back to where they were before they left. The other part of the policy is that any time a student-athlete is having difficulty with his/her academic work, they can attend to that without being penalized in his/her sport. Return to play and team status can only be affected in the same manner as in being away for family vacation.
Sadhya: What are your primary concerns?
Michael Jackson: My concerns are that impacting practices and contests carries with it a number of issues for sports teams. They range from limiting holiday tournament pay for teams, including their own which sometimes are fund raisers. All sports have some conditioning factors involved . For track, Cross Country, Swimming etc. limiting practices and games can affect performances that help qualify for state meets. In April and February vacations, if games are moved out of those vacations because of limited practice or game dates, rescheduling them will jam up the remaining or other parts of those schedules. Also, limiting practices and schedules limits our teams and coaches ability to prepare for their seasons, specific games,etc. & puts Hanover teams at a competitive disadvantage.
Sadhya: What do you support?
Michael Jackson: I support the present policy in the athletic department. We work with student-athletes and families throughout the season to try to help. Co-Curricular activities participation teaches students to manage their time and make good decisions while learning responsibility to a group, its goals and its initiatives.
Sadhya: What do you propose as a potential solution? (e.g. keep as is, modify motion, etc)
Michael Jackson: Keep as is. There are coaches who give days off, exam weeks – during which all practices are optional and there are not games scheduled. No Sunday practices or games, except in very rare instances – approved by me.
Council will meet and discuss the motion again this Wednesday during activity.
Council PR Henry Lang’s position on the issue.