News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
TUESDAY, MAY 2, 2006


Girls run funny, but they might play football better

OK, football is a guy's game. It's rough and dirty, and if the players are any good, they have speed, strength and agility.

And, football was invented for guys.

So, when a member of the weaker sex comes along and insists on joining the boys in playing tackle football, a lot of people justifiably get concerned.

Did you ever see girls run? Funny isn't it, the way they move their arms from side to side for balance instead of pumping them front and back the way nature intended for humans to keep balance?

But, they do run marathons and beat a lot the guys because they have endurance. They play soccer, too, which isn't a tea-party social. Basketball lets them demonstrate form and grace.

So, what's the big to do over 12-year-old Mary Grubaugh wanting to make the seventh-grade football team at Cotaco School?

"This is a bigger issue than I thought it was, so I want to research the issue a little more," Morgan County Superintendent Don Murphy said.

He said he wants to do the right thing for Mary, thus he won't rush his decision.

That deliberative approach is hard to argue with, although the delay kept her from the three practices last week which allowed students to show interest in what will be a new team in the fall. School officials said the practices were not tryouts for the team.

Mary likes football. At 4-feet and 90 pounds, she played cornerback and wide receiver in Cotaco's youth tackle league for the past two years.

The practical side of coaching co-ed teams means schools must maintain a proper locker room atmosphere. That, of course, involves change.

Mary wants to play, has parental permission and may be good enough to make the team, so the superintendent's decision should be an easy one.

The worst that may happen is that she beats out a guy at cornerback.

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