A Michael Jordan assist at just the right time.

Michael Jordan has trouble not being in the public eye. His recent comments about Kobe Bryant and about scoring 100 points in a game? Not needed. But there was something that needed attention and Jordan took the lead in addressing that need. And for that reason, we give MJ attention that is truly deserved.

We have written before about the disturbing trend involving cuts in school budgets and by extension, school athletic programs. A truly special and incredibly important part of the overall school experience is becoming increasingly hard to access for so many young people. Sports programs are being cut entirely or scaled back. We are seeing students being told they need to “pay to play.” Denying access to athletics at the youth and high school level is a crime, one that threatens the future of the boys and girls and our ability to further develop future leaders.

Jordan’s contribution is exemplary in one regard, i.e. he stepped up in a time of need. But it also represents a failure of the system. We need to find ways to provide continual support that provides for a sustainable program. Folks like MJ can’t be asked to make major donations every year.

The full article by Ron Green Jr. of the Charlotte Observer can be found by clicking here. We provide an excerpt below.


Michael Jordan lends schools a hand;
$250,000 for middle schools from Jordan and Bobcats is largest gift ever announced for CMS athletics programs.

Budget cuts, including the school system’s elimination of $1.25 million – the entire budget – for middle school athletics, brought an opportunity to do just that, Jordan told the Observer.

“We investigated the situation. We looked for ways to help middle schools and this was one of the options presented to us. We took it because of the impact on middle schools and giving them the opportunity to play sports and as motivation for education as well,” Jordan said.

School officials had announced this summer a pay-to-play plan for middle-school and high-school athletes, intended to prevent middle-school athletics from being eliminated.

The fees, $50 to play middle-school athletics and $100 for high-school athletics, were imposed to help fund the shortfall. But they won’t come close to covering the $1.25 million cost of the programs, CMS athletics director Vicki Hamilton said.

There are 32 middle schools in CMS, with teams in 13 sports and involving about 6,500 students…

WCNC photo.

To read the full article, please follow the link: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/08/29/1650739/michael-jordan-lends-schools-a.html#ixzz1396oHaZL