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Football: Coaches and multi-sport athletes need to work together

October 3, 2012 | 10:38 am

There's a controversy playing out in Sacramento, where a football coach was fired, players quit the team and a debate about multi-sport athletes has begun.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Christian Mahaffey, the football coach at Rio Americano, was fired after refusing to reinstate 11 players who left the team in support of receiver Guillermo Salazar, who wanted to attend a baseball showcase in Arizona rather than play in a Saturday football game and was removed by Mahaffey.

The coach and the multi-sport athlete should have worked things out long before this issue came to head.

As for baseball showcases, everyone seems to think scholarships are earned based on a single performance at a showcase. Wrong.

"It couldn't be further from the truth," UCLA baseball Coach John Savage said. "Programs are going to watch a kid for quite a while, investigate his background and base their decision off multiple evaluations."

Former Bishop Amat quarterback Rio Ruiz last year faced the dilemma of playing for a U.S. national baseball team or sticking with his football team. He chose football. And now he's in the minor leagues.

Compromise and common sense need to be employed in the future.

-- Eric Sondheimer