09/12/06 — Opinion - Goldsboro did the right thing

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Opinion - Goldsboro did the right thing

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 12, 2006 2:07 PM

Do the right thing.

That four-word phrase is akin to "easier said than done."

Or, it can be comparable to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Regardless, doing the right thing is a powerful message that has become lost in today's society -- particularly in ethics.

That's why you have to applaud Goldsboro High for its professional conduct in handling an ethics problem that could have very easily gotten out of hand.

While the issue has been documented in recent days concerning the use of an ineligible player and how the student-athlete slipped through the cracks, let's look at the positive side.

Ineligibility among high school athletes is very common and there's not a year that doesn't go by that you don't hear about a school getting caught for committing the violation. Tracking a student body on a daily basis is a difficult job and one that doesn't come with many "thank yous." When something goes wrong, we're all guilty of placing the blame.

That didn't happen at Goldsboro.

Instead of passing the buck, Principal Pat Burden immediately shouldered -- for lack of a better word -- the burden of correcting the problem. She followed the proper channels and by day's end had vanquished smoldering embers that could have combusted into a raging wildfire.

The N.C. High School Athletic Association praised Burden's handling of the affair and commended her "ethical conduct." Burden prevented the possibility of the Cougars losing more games if the eligibility issue had not been discovered.

Burden did the right thing.

Once the incident had been resolved, Burden immediately implemented a course of action to hopefully prevent future eligibility issues. Coaches and athletic administrators will be required to not only examine the student-athlete's transcript, but also check the age.

That might resolve the problem.

Only time will tell.

To continue with the positive, Goldsboro High will receive a certificate from the NCHSAA for going ejection-free during the 2005-06 season. That accomplishment personifies Burden's view of doing the right thing when representing the school and community.

A total of 165 schools statewide garnered recognition for their ejection-free status. Joining Goldsboro in the News-Argus coverage area are Eastern Wayne, North Duplin, James Kenan, Greene Central and North Lenoir.

"We are certainly pleased to recognize these schools for their positive programming," said Mark Dreibelbis, assistant executive director of the NCHSAA and director of the association's Student Services Division.

"It is part of our continuing commitment to provide opportunities and recognize schools which are promoting the kind of behavior we want to see as part of a wholesome athletic environment."

Burden and Goldsboro High are a good example.