News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

September 16, 2012

EDITORIAL: Conference change in the wind

Best option should be based on pragmatism

TERRE HAUTE — Though far from universal, a sense of optimism existed in November 1996 when Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South high schools were accepted as members of the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference.

Principals and athletic directors at the two Vigo County schools hailed the move as “a catalyst for change in terms of not only athletics but academics as well,” and “the most significant step athletically and academically that either school has taken” in their then-26-year histories. Some coaches, more skeptical, wondered if the locals would be equipped to match the other MIC schools’ number of coaches and middle-school feeder systems. With that mix of excitement and wariness, North and South joined the “super conference.”

Sixteen years later, the two schools are searching for a new league. Why?

Geography and numbers are two primary factors. The MIC wants to expand from its current size of eight teams (North, South, and six large Indianapolis-area schools — Ben Davis, Warren Central, Center Grove, Carmel, North Central and Lawrence North) to perhaps as many as 16. Since ’96, suburban schools in Indy have grown in enrollment and athletic prowess, and MIC officials are soliciting membership interest from the best of that crop. Those prospective members, already affiliated with other conferences, would be more inclined to break long-standing ties with their present leagues and jump to an enhanced MIC if the two Terre Haute schools dropped out. The 75-mile bus rides back and forth on I-70 are not appealing in the age of $3.90-a-gallon gas.

The other half of that “Why?” connects to the timing of this debate. Reports about a possible conference shakeup emerged at the outset of the MIC’s marquee sports season — football. That is no coincidence. In a league that excels in many sports, football still stands out. Since 1999, MIC teams have won all but two Class 5A state football championships. When North and South entered the conference, Ben Davis, Carmel and Warren Central already had multiple football championship trophies, and Center Grove eventually won its own. Defeating established powerhouse programs has remained an uphill battle for the Terre Haute schools. Since their first full season as members in 1998, North and South have never won more than three games in a season against MIC foes.

Not surprisingly, most schools reportedly being wooed by the MIC are now perennial football powers. All are near Indianapolis, too. And, with the school-age population in Vigo County declining, North and South have the MIC’s smallest enrollments. The MIC and suburban Indy schools are growing.

The remedy is difficult. There are no similarly sized schools within 50 miles of the Terre Haute schools. No ideal alternative exists, and the best-case scenario — soldiering on in the MIC — appears to be fading. Conferences that do match up size-wise (around Bloomington and south of Indianapolis) may see little upside in adding distant members like North and South, even if the MIC cherry-picks those leagues’ top football schools.

Still, the Vigo County School Corp. is pro-actively seeking options if the local schools’ MIC affiliation ends within the next two years. Thankfully, competing as independents (with no conference link) is not being considered. North and South did that for two decades, leaving teams and individual student-athletes off the radar maps in terms of college recruiting, statewide rankings and recognition; those situations improved through MIC competition, as has the strength of the North and South sports teams across the board.

Superintendent Danny Tanoos told the Tribune-Star the corporation is interested in aligning North and South with the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference, now comprised of eight Evansville schools. The two Terre Haute schools were SIAC members from 1971-79, and the two-hour bus ride up and down U.S. 41 has not gotten any shorter since. Another complication: Evansville is on Central Time, and Terre Haute is on Eastern Time.

Ultimately, the decision should boil down to the best option as of right now — academically, athletically and financially — rather than future expectations. Pragmatism must win out.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • EDITORIAL: Get smart with 911

    Worst-case scenarios when emergency service are needed are not things people like to think about. But focused attention on details in advance could make a life-changing, even life-saving, difference in the future.

    April 17, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: Heading in the wrong direction

    A study released last week by the Tax Foundation reported Indiana taxpayers saw one of the sharpest increases in tax burden since 2001. Dig deeper and the numbers are more alarming.

    April 17, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: They didn’t make it!

    The “One and Dones” done went and didn’t! (I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I want those folks down in Kentucky to read it.)

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Dealing with eroded trust

    Our neighbors in Putnam County are understandably concerned, even outraged, over problems in their sheriff’s department. People have a right to expect their chief law-enforcement agency — one of the most important public institutions in any community — to operate professionally and effectively.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Readers’ Forum: April 17, 2014

    • A blessing from our young folks

    • Confidence in judge candidate

    April 16, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Preparing for voting changes

    The primary election, during which Hoosiers will traipse to their polling places to select party candidates to fill the ballot for the general election, is now three weeks away.

    April 15, 2014

  • Readers’ forum: April 16, 2014

    • Mott’s rant on global warming

    • Salvation through the Indian way

    April 15, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Royce Waltman

    In recent days the papers have been full of good things about Royce Waltman. Not a lot of puffery, but more like Royce himself… straight, true and right at you.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Not much peace since war to end all wars

    My jaw dropped the other day when I read that this year, 2014, marks 100 years since the start of World War I. No, you wise guys, I wasn’t there personally.

    April 14, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 15, 2014

    Sound choice for county judge
    Giving your car the care it needs
    Park restrooms should be open

    April 14, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (Honors for outstanding women)

    Honors for outstanding women
    Sprucing up around the wetlands
    You can say that again
    Reader Poll results

    April 13, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 14, 2014

    Alternatives to ‘injustice’

    April 13, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Teaming up to fight the ugliness of graffiti

    Graffiti hurts the Terre Haute community. It deflates property values and local pride. It literally paints an image of carelessness on the city.

    April 12, 2014

  • MARK BENNETT: It’s (Not) So Easy

    Arctic air bled into the Wabash Avenue post-hippie-era diner-pub every time the wooden door swung open.

    April 12, 2014

  • ERIC SCHANSBERG: The 1040 tax form turns 100

    The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution brought us the federal income tax in 1913. A year later, the 1040 tax form was born.

    April 12, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 13, 2014

    • An attack of hypocrisy

    • New jail not a good idea

    • Thinking about the next election

    • Being positive a tremendous asset

    • Work status a matter of value

    April 12, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: Time to fix government

    In 1965, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House. That was my first year in Congress, and I remember vividly the moment when Mills came to the Democratic caucus to explain his plans.

    April 12, 2014

  • Death Notice: April 13, 2014

    Phillip Herman

    April 12, 2014

  • GUEST EDITORIAL: Despite high court ruling, big money may not guarantee election success

    The Supreme Court has taken the predictable next step in the wake of its 2010 Citizens United decision in which it lifted the limit on donations wealthy donors can make to certain political entities.

    April 11, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Pondering our planet’s future

    I watched a TV show recently and the subject was global warming.

    April 11, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts for Waltman

    When Royce Waltman left Indiana State University as its head basketball coach in 2007, there was a sense of disappointment in the community that covered a broad spectrum.

    April 11, 2014

  • Readers' Forum: April 11, 2014

    • An appeal for organic farming

    • Kesler best choice for judge position

    April 11, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Bits & Pieces

    I don’t know about you, but I get a total sense of helplessness when I realize 239 people died in one airplane crash. And to make it worse, if that is possible, the loved ones left behind can’t close. Maybe this week.

    April 10, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Road work season requires motorists’ undivided attention

    Spring’s budding flowers, trees and grasses are not the only colorful eye candy popping up on the west-central Indiana landscape. Those orange barrels and pylons common to construction areas are appearing as well.

    April 9, 2014

  • Readers' Forum: April 10, 2014

    • Appreciation for writer’s views

    • Amazed by policy on birth control

    April 9, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Dangers lurking among us

    Hardly a week goes by without multiple stories being published in this newspaper detailing the arrests, court proceedings, convictions or sentencings of individuals involved in sex crimes against children or young teens. It’s a disturbing trend that underscores the ever-present dangers that exist where we may least expect them.

    April 9, 2014 1 Story

  • Readers' Forum: April 9, 2014

    April 9, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Basketball and Done

    I guess I’m going to have to change my mind about the “One and Done” rule. It would seem the future professionals wearing university uniforms — national runner-up Kentucky is an example — has proven me a fool. Why should I care about the education they are getting, or not getting?

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Angling for a mate not fond of fishing

    While many little girls daydream about the dream man they hope to find, it seems to me that they concentrate on all the wrong things. I can’t discount the appeal of beauty, brains and virtue, but my dream man was one who was not dedicated to fishing.

    April 7, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 8, 2014

    Tracking the trail of thieves
    Friendly service at local store
    New voice for judicial system
    Movie strikes a proper balance

    April 7, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Today in History for April 18th Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes
NDN Video
My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity