Buffalo schools call upon pro athletes to recommend athletics changes

October 29, 2014 /
Buffalo Public Schools in New York is hoping to make some drastic changes to its athletic programs, and it has called on some high-profile figures to help.

The Buffalo News reports that the district created a special task force that includes former Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman, Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure, Stanley Cup winner Kevyn Adams, Olympic swimmer Gary Hall and Dudley Hart of the PGA. The committee includes nearly 30 members in all, and they’re responsible for developing recommendations to improve the district’s athletic offerings.

From the article:

The task force is expected to partner with an executive committee of Buffalo Public Schools administrators to take a comprehensive look at district athletics. Among the tasks, according to Quinn:

• Conducting a survey of current student participation and academic outcomes for existing student athletes, as well as eligibility requirements for current players, and existing policies regarding the use of school district athletic facilities.

• Reviewing the existing athletic programs and making recommendations on how programs could be improved.

• Possibly proposing new or “emerging” opportunities for interscholastic athletics in the district, including changes to eligibility requirements, the establishment of new programs and the demotion of weaker sports to instructional programs.

Jon Dandes, Buffalo Bisons president and president of the Buffalo Public Schools Foundation, said he expects the task force will look at how district athletic programs are funded, managed and executed, and include a review of district facilities, equipment and coaching.

Those are some notable names, and that’s bound to draw some attention to the issue. I wonder, however, how familiar these professional athletes are with education-based athletics. Status does not impart that knowledge on someone, so it would make sense that the rest of this task force includes experience in a high school setting.

We should find out this spring what type of recommendations are handed down from the committee.

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