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True sportsmanship
A young athlete chooses integrity and fairness over breaking records
Phil Taylor, Sports Illustrated, November 3, 2003

Poor Nate Haasis. The kid apparently just doesn't get it. He seems to value integrity and fair play and -- get this -- honest competition. You would think a young man raised in the modern sports culture would know better than that, but you know how kids can be with their wacky ideas.

If only some adult had gotten to Haasis, a senior quarterback at Springfield (Ill.) Southeast High School, in time he might not have written a letter to the president of the Central State Eight Conference asking its officials to erase from the books the record-setting pass he had thrown a few days before. It seems that once Haasis found out exactly how he set the record, he didn't want it.

With less than a minute to go in the final game of Haasis' high school career, against Cahokia High School, the 17-year-old was 29 yards short of the conference record of 4,998 passing yards. Since Cahokia had the ball, it appeared that Haasis wouldn't get a chance to break the mark. That's when Southeast coach Neal Taylor and Cahokia coach Antwyne Golliday agreed to make sure that he did. Taylor had his team allow Cahokia to score. Cahokia then kicked the ball back to Southeast and didn't contest Haasis' final pass, a 37-yarder that broke the record.

Although he had his suspicions when he saw how the final sequence unfolded, it wasn't until after the game that Haasis found out precisely what the coaches had done. A few days later, he wrote the letter to the conference asking that his record be nullified. "It is my belief that the directions given to us in the final seconds of this game were made in 'the heat of battle' and do not represent the values of the athletes of the Southeast football team," Haasis wrote. "In respect to my teammates, and past and present football players of the Central State Eight, it is my hope that this pass is omitted from any conference records."

Haasis obviously needs guidance. Maybe Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan and Packers quarterback Brett Favre should tell him about the time Favre intentionally fell to the ground in order to give Strahan the single-season sack record. (Yes, I know neither player admits Favre took a dive, but who are they kidding?) Perhaps Ricky Davis of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who once took a shot at the wrong basket in order to get a bogus rebound in pursuit of a triple-double, could say a few words to Haasis. Or maybe all those world-class runners and swimmers who put illegal chemicals into their bodies in order to set new world records could talk to him. There are any number of athletes who could straighten Haasis out, explain to him that it's not about how, it's about how many. Any record that's worth having is worth rigging the competition to get.

At least that's what you would expect any young athlete to learn from watching the pursuit of athletic excellence these days. The two coaches involved certainly seem to have learned that lesson; it's hard to imagine how Haasis failed to absorb it, too. He's apparently under the outdated impression that records should arise naturally out of honest effort, that sports are supposed to be competitions, not exhibitions. "I didn't feel right having [the record]," Haasis said.

Didn't feel right? Who raised this kid? He actually thinks that a record isn't worth having if it's not earned fair and square? I mean, what do you call a young man who follows his conscience instead of his coach, who shows that he hasn't learned a single thing from watching the behavior of high-profile athletes? I can only think of one name for a kid like Nate Haasis.

Sportsman of the Year.
 

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DymOnamic
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966 Posts
It's troublemakers' like these who actually go to college 4 years before they sign a professional contract! :rolleyes: Geez, what's next, endorsment refusals? The nerve of this kid.
 

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Chimpus herfustus
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745 Posts
Inspiring.

That's it. This article has inspired me to do the right thing. I'm marching straight up to my boss's office and telling him I shouldn't get a bonus cause all I do is hang out on Club Stogie!!! He he. Honestly, it is integrity like that kid showed that we need a lot more of. Nate has some serious cojones IMO.
SB
 

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MoTheMentor
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3,075 Posts
Guilty conscience

OK!

I'll admit it.

I've never had sex in the champagne room.

MoTheMan
 
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