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JOE WILLIAMS: Is fear of karma driving a school system?

Few things upset me more than double standards and hypocrisy. And yes, I’ve been upset with myself more than once.

Sometimes the disease is so obvious that even from a distance it cannot be ignored.

A misunderstanding among the softball coaches in District 11-AAA left the one Nashville school in the district, Hillsboro, out of the original tournament brackets recently. Hillsboro had forfeited several games, but they were still eligible to compete at tournament time.

While researching the issue, I came across an entry on the state’s message board Bible for high school sports, With the redistricting recently done by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, Trousdale County High in Hartsville was placed in the same district as Goodpasture Christian School in Madison.  So upset with the move was Trousdale County Director of Schools Clint Satterfield that he announced his institutions would only play Goodpasture in football and only because it was required for TCHS to make the playoffs.

Satterfield wouldn’t come right out and say it, but comments published by the director made it clear he felt Goodpasture, as a private school, could recruit from a large geographic area and Trousdale County was limited to one of the smallest in the state. He claims he is looking out for the best interest of his student athletes in other sports.

This altruistic philosophy is one Mr. Satterfield must have developed since stepping down as head football coach at Trousdale County.

Satterfield and TCHS were synonymous with running up scores during his years as head coach. He won five Class-A state titles in the progress, including a gaudy 52-16 contest in 2005. For those who don’t remember, a quick check of the records point out many games that could be Satterfield’s concern for his “other” sports at TCHS. Ask Monterey about the 91-0 Friday night in 1997 or Red Boiling Springs, which suffered the same score in 2005. That same year, there was the 63-0 rout of Mt. Juliet Christian before the state title game. There are many others, but hopefully you get the point.

It hasn’t changed much since Satterfield left the field for the district’s big chair. From 2008-2011, Trousdale County won, on average, 9.25 games in the regular season by an average margin of victory 35.4 points. In three games during that stretch against Pickett County, TCHS went 3-0 by a combined score of 241-0.

In the process of publicly delivering the news to every other team in the school (basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, etc) that they are inferior, Satterfield also hints at one major factor being the status of Goodpasture as a private school. And you know private schools recruit.

Yeah, and so do public schools, and they have for years. On both sides, there are schools that recruit purely for athletic purposes and that is wrong on more levels than just the TSSAA handbook. I’m a public school product and I played against kids who were zoned to walk the same halls I did. They went elsewhere, convincing a weak central office that culinary arts were critical to their future at McDonalds.

How has TCHS fared against private schools in the regular season? In the same four-year period, they have a 7-1 record, winning by a total combined score of 250-102.

No wonder the football-centric director is concerned about protecting the rest of his teams he himself labels “inferior” by his own actions.

The best that I can recall, during football seasons when the scores got so ridiculous, Satterfield would cry that the other teams should work harder, build better programs and try to be more successful.

Physician - heal thyself.

Posted on: 5/13/2013


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