One question out there is whether we should maintain our present athletic budgets in public schools if the educational mission of the school is no longer being served by high school sports. If schools require athletic participation, it can be argued that the school's mission can best be fulfilled. However, how many public schools require this kind of participation? My observations of the youth sports landscape is that it is elite in nature so only a handful of kids are left after they have been weeded out by youth sports boards and coaches. By definition, the public high school athletic landscape is elite. Parents of elite athletes, many of whom have spent thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars on their children's sport development, expect a return for their investment; i.e. winning programs, access to scholarships, playing time, etc. Can any coach work against this? I was a coach of a high school girls' basketball team in CT. I was fired by the athletic director because we didn't win enough and I was not able to reach the parents' expectation that their daughter played all the time while we also won. Of course, that meant to these certain parents other team members weren't going to get to play.
Another phenomenon is that many high schools don't hire teachers to coach, or, teachers aren't as interested in coaching. Perhaps teachers make too much money (unlikely) or they have had it with the unrealistic expectations and elite and entitled attitude of parents and athletes. Consequently, high schools are bringing in non-teachers....people with little developmental educational background....people in it so they can have winning teams. That, to me, is a recipe for disaster, and perhaps is a starting place for sports reform. Why can't school boards mandate that their coaches are teachers? I know it probably isn't realistic, but we have coaches in my school district who clearly could care less whether a kid is struggling in class or is having difficulties with family issues, so long as it doesn't interfere with the coach's ability to win.