How the Sausage Is Made At The Florida High School Athletics Association

And now for something completely different. And yet, not really. I want to direct you to a new story from one of Florida’s best investigative reporters, Cynthia Barnett of Florida Trend magazine. Those of you paying close attention may remember that Cynthia wrote the first, and still best, major piece on the Heartland Parkway, way back in 2006.

She’s now plunged head first into the boiling acid of Florida’s high school sports bureaucracy, detailing some of the economic pressures and shading dealings that underpin all that Friday night pageantry. Former Polk Superintendent of Schools John Stewart, the former director of the FHSAA, makes a cameo appearance and does not come off particularly well, it must be said.

It’s a complex piece, without villains or heroes, which is generally the mark of serious reporting. I come away with two basic thoughts: 1) There’s probably no way to run an agency that oversees the egos and clashing interests of high school sports in a way that doesn’t sometimes smell. Base human instinct meets base human instinct. 2) Adults should stop lecturing kids about sexting.