MHSAA Excutive Director John E. Roberts speaks to Sports Coverage class

During Tuesday’s afternoon session, the Sports Coverage students had the opportunity to talk with John E. Roberts, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) executive director. Each year, Roberts takes time out to come and speak to the MIPA Sports Coverage students, and this year was no different. He spoke to the students about his role with the organization, how rules are made for each sport and the main focus of the MHSAA. While speaking, Roberts also highlighted “the 4 S’s” that drive the organization in all that they don which the company stands for. The 4 S’s are as follows:

“The academic mission is what’s important to us, not the preparation of athletes for athletic scholarships,” Roberts said.

He stressed the importance of student athletes being scholars academically when speaking to the class. He gave statistics on how majority of the MHSAA athletes will not continue sports after high school, which is the reasoning for focusing on the academic aspects of the athletes.

“We dislike it when events are during the school day,” he said

“The content of what is said at our events should be the same at the athletic events as it is in the classroom,” Roberts said of the behavior of those attending MHSAA sporting events.

Roberts said the atmosphere at MHSAA events should be one that could occur in a school, just louder. He said he wants those who attend MHSAA events to do so in a respectful but fun manner. He also talked about how athletes and coaches are expected to have good sportsmanship and attitudes no matter the outcome of a game.

“People should not use words or gestures that they wouldn’t use in the classroom,” he said.

“A death to heat is a 100 percent avoidable death,” Roberts said when going through the precautions the MHSAA takes to protect its student athletes.

Roberts went into detail about the safety precautions the MHSAA is taking this year to protect its players. He mentioned having EMS on site during practices and also enforcing rules against sports that require contact. The MHSAA provides members with prevention against head-, heart- and heat-caused injuries.

“How much sports is too much sports?” Roberts asked in regards to the MHSAA regulating school sports as a whole. He discussed the measures the MHSAA takes in order to make sure its athletes have success both in sports and life.

Once Roberts concluded his presentation, the students in the Sports Coverage class had the opportunity to interview him for their final projects.  

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