Bruins News · A Message from IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox

A Postscript to “Cool It”

A few weeks ago, Dr. Karissa Niehoff of the National Federation of State High School Associations partnered with the Executive Directors/Commissioners of all 51 state associations to deliver an important message regarding sportsmanship, contest officials and adult behavior at high school athletic contests. This communication was distributed nationwide and it has resonated greatly with the public. The IHSAA has received countless positive responses to the op-ed from all corners of our state. Within those encouragements, several helpful suggestions were also forwarded. As I reflect on the conversation, I want to share some of the more insightful comments:

  • When did boorish behavior replace respectful, good-natured, competitive conduct?
  • ALL adult stakeholders need to adhere to these directives. This includes coaches, administrators and officials.
  • These are “games for kids!” Where did we lose our way?
  • Parents need to stop and enjoy these games before their kids graduate and it’s all over.
My sense is that the clear majority of Hoosiers understand the basic premise of education-based athletics, yet some are occasionally overwhelmed with hometown zeal and passion. That energy and support is always welcomed when channeled in the proper manner. I have reprinted the op-ed below as reference to our challenge.

I look forward to seeing you at our tournament series events this winter. #FaceOfSportsmanship


Bobby Cox
Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc.