Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

OPEC and high school sports

I’m driving a subcompact.
It is so small that I can reach from the driver’s side seat to roll the passenger window up or down depending upon the weather.
It is hardly a luxury model. But it gets me to where I want to go, and that is fine.
What is not so fine is that even in my tin can I’m spending a lot of money for gas lately. With prices nudging $4 a gallon, we are getting squeezed by OPEC.
If my subcompact is sucking a lot of gas, can you imagine what school buses are going through these days?
So why do we still have these massive, logistically challenged, high school sports conferences?
Tell me why Madison in south Oakland County boards the bus to play in New Haven or beyond? Or why Lamphere travels to Romeo or Anchor Bay High School for a soccer match? How about Clawson going to Grosse Pointe South or Port Huron High for softball?
All of those Oakland County teams compete in the Macomb Area Conference.
The Oakland Activities Association is not much better. All of the teams in the south end of the county are always headed north or west, it seems. There’s Hazel Park playing softball at Rochester Hills Stoney Creek and Royal Oak playing tennis at Lake Orion.
In a lot of districts, buses are provided only one way. Teams will be transported to an event, but are on their own to find a way back. It might not save on gas, but is saves on the cost of a bus driver is getting paid as he or she sits idly for hours waiting for the games to end.
The last I checked, our public schools were not exactly enjoying a surplus of funds. Things have got to change.
Sorry, I’ve got to go to the gas station now. I just hope I am not waiting behind a school bus at the pumps.


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