Lawmakers shouldn’t be asked to fix all woes PDF E-mail

The Nebraska Legislature in this short session will attempt to consider more than 450 bills that have been introduced. Judging from the list you can reach a couple of conclusions.

First, it’s pretty obvious seeing the number of bills why the wheels of government turn slowly. Secondly, people have asked the legislature to solve problems that should be solved, not by government, but by those very people or organizations themselves.

A prime example is a new legislative proposal that requests reclassification of some high school varsity sports teams based in part on their success, not just their enrollment. Those with winning teams year after year would be put into the next higher class. The bill was introduced primarily out of concern about the disproportionate share of state championships won by private and parochial schools.

I would be the first to admit it’s sometimes frustrating to have a powerhouse team win year after year, but I am not ready to concede to the idea of punishing or tearing down successful sports programs and to bring them to the level of poorer teams. Of course, that seems to have become the modern day interpretation of the American way – take down any successful program or business and make it just average. No more competition; no more striving to be better; just get lazy and be average.

The big question is if people feel parochial and private schools compete unfairly, why not request the Nebraska School Activities Association change their guidelines? The NSAA governs the rules for Nebraska schools. If a majority of its representatives feel change is needed, let the school administrators and coaches suggest the changes instead of a state legislator.

While on the subject of sports, do you remember when you went to Nebraska football games to watch the game? Well, some of us (I’m not included) had wives that went to the game to see what women’s fall fashions were in style.

There were no fancy suites; just sideline boxes with folding chairs. Premium-paying season ticket holders now sit were there was once the low cost knothole section at the south end of the field.  Concessionaires sold only hot dogs, popcorn, hot coffee or pop instead of today’s Runzas, pizzas and ice cream. 

The college football world has changed and it now has become a business instead of just a game. Capacity seating needs to be met each Saturday. TV coverage and replay screens are a stadium necessity. Good sound systems blare out halftime shows from bands and pop stars. And judging by news articles of the past week, more fan attractions are coming to Memorial Stadium and even to the new Pinnacle Arena.

The NU regents signed on for a $12.3 million project for installing Wi-Fi at the stadium. The proposal called to upgrade the stadium’s sound system and install wireless Internet throughout to meet the demands of the new-age football fan

As most of you know, I have a reputation for leaving some games early despite protests from the betterhalf. I feel these new improvements might not be all bad.

Now I can text her when I learn how to text, or call from a distance and tell her to meet me at the car.

In making the announcement about the expenditure of $12.3 for the stadium improvements, the UN public relations department may have ruffled a few feathers of students and parents. At the conclusion of that same news story it was stated: “In other business, the Board of Regents passed room and board rates for the next academic year, including up to 4 percent at UNO, up to 4.5 percent at UNL and up to 5 percent at UNK.” Ouch!

RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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