The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch recently carried an outstanding series spelling out the dangers created for young athletes by a youth sports system that lacks uniformity and oversight. In response, Ohio’s governing body for high-school athletics is offering to step in and help regulate an industry that has swelled to include an estimated 40 million participants nationwide. It would mark a sea change in the way youth sports have been run, although one caveat is determining where the funding would come from to pay for such a massive program.
“We have done a disservice to our children and their families, because we have allowed the structure to grow into what it is,” Ohio State University athletic director Gene Smith told the Dispatch. “We have had all these cottage industries pop up and convince families they have to fly to Connecticut or go to Vegas to compete against the best. I think it’s a flawed system.”