How Do We Get Back to the Field of Dreams?

Apr 21, 2014

Credit Libby Baker / Wikimedia Commons

Is there a connection between what happens in youth sports and the locker room bullying of Richie Incognito or the steroid-spattered reputations of Alex Rodriguez and Lance Armstrong?

And, we all know that major college sports have become engines of commerce allowing a lot of people, although not the athletes who drive those engines, to get rich.

But, is there any way in which those dollar signs are sliding down into youth and high school sports.

Earlier this month, we gathered some experts at Watkinson School and in front of a live audience, explored those questions. Both UConn basketball teams had just won their championships in the days immediately preceding our forum. Everybody was feeling good but even then, questions lingered.

Shabazz Napier, the hero of the Huskies, had stepped forward and talked about going to bed hungry in a system that didn't really support his efforts. 

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  • Jeff Jacobs  is a sports columnist for the Hartford Courant
  • Rebecca Stearns is Vice President of Operations and Director of Education at the Korey Stringer Institute.
  • Reggie Hatchett runs the Connecticut Basketball Club. When a head coach was suspended indefinitely this year, Hatchett stepped in a coached Weaver High School to a conference title.
  • Glenn Cusano  has coached a for a decade in youth sports. Cusano's daughter suffered a serious sports injury.