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Did Two Girls’ Basketball Teams Deserve To Get Banned From Postseason Play For Trying To Lose A Game On Purpose?

Submitted by on February 25, 2015 – 11:32 amNo Comment

Former NFL head coach Herm Edwards famously said, “You play to win the game,” a few years back when a reporter asked him a stupid question after a game. And Edwards was right. You don’t play sports to lose; you play them to win. Winning isn’t everything and the world isn’t going to end if you happen to lose. But no one walks out on to the court or field and says, “You know what? I really feel like losing today.” That’s not how sports work. Or do they?

Recently, two girls’ basketball teams from Murfreesboro, Tennessee decided that they didn’t win to win a game against one another. The winner of the game was going to have to square off against a top-ranked team in a tournament. So rather than try to win, both teams tried to lose during the game. And it didn’t end well for either of them. Smyrna ended up winning (or is it “winning”?) the game against Riverdale 55-29. But one of the game’s referees realized what was happening during the game and made a note of it later. It forced the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association to investigate and, eventually, they discovered that both teams had tried to lose. So they suspended both of them from the postseason, fined each school $1,500, and placed them on probation for year.

And you know what we have to say to that? Good. We see why it would make sense for the teams to lose the game. But if you’re going to try to lose, you can’t be blatant about it and make a mockery out of the game of basketball. According to reports, there were players shooting at the wrong basket, committing turnovers on purpose, and doing whatever they had to do to try and lose. And that’s a real shame, because we’re betting that there were girls on both teams that would have loved to play in the game. But instead, the coaches allowed players to perform poorly on purpose, and that just doesn’t sit well with us.

It’s not fair that a handful of girls will have their high school careers end like this. But if they want to blame anyone for it, they should blame their coaches and themselves for going along with their coaches’ plans. You play to win, not to lose. And just in case people needed a reminder about that, they just got it.

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