People haven't stopped ranting and raving about steroids in MLB, but the incredulity that trickled down from the beginning of this mess into all levels of baseball --and sports in general -- appears to have slowed. Not many states were as quick to jump on the bandwagon to test high school athletes as New Jersey, the first, with only three others (Illinois, Texas, and Florida) joining the cause.
But the economy, as it has been wont to do lately, has hung a black cloud over that initiative in Florida, and a lack of funding has caused the state to cancel the testing program.
"We completely understand," said Cristina Alvarez, spokeswoman for the Florida High School Athletic Association. "We know that money has to go to certain things right now to help the entire state, not just one association."
While Brinson is correct in pointing out elsewhere that the "nip it in the bud" mentality about high school testing is crucial in seriously stemming the future use of steroids in professional sports (especially since, you know, keeping kids healthy is supposed to be the goal, not keeping a number in a record book "sacred"), there are high schools across the country that can't afford athletic programs or, more importantly, text books. When you look at the state of American schools in general, the cancellation of Florida's testing program is put into perspective a bit. Especially since only one student out of 600 tested produced a positive test. The cost didn't match the benefit.
Of course, Brinson also notes that perhaps we wouldn't have to choose about which pretty important priority to sacrifice in our schools if our national and state finances were spent better all along, but if utopias were that easy to come by a lot of things wouldn't be the way they are now.
The sad truth is we're stuck in this situation, and if we're choosing where to cut our money, I don't blame Florida for going this route until the economy turns around. Turning the economy around, as it turns out, will solve a lot of our nation's problems. Imagine that.
Or we can scrutinize Alex Rodriguez's daily life instead. That seems much more productive.