Corey Yardley

Dream Big

A letter to the Iowa Valley Athletic Department

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Last Friday night the Iowa Valley High School boys basketball team was scheduled to play HLV in Marengo.  It was coaches vs. cancer night and there were all sorts of fundraisers for cancer awareness.  I was going to go support both of my brothers, (Cullen, an Iowa Valley sophomore, and Trent, an HLV senior) and planned on supporting the fight for cancer.  I didn’t go to the game however, because I was told that they weren’t going to allow my brother and a few others to play, because the coach didn’t like their hair style.

Sounds pretty stupid when you put it that way, huh?  Cullen showed me his hair the night before the game and I thought it was a very bold way to show his support.  He carved the Breast Cancer Awareness Symbol (see photo) on both sides of his head.  Like I said, it was very bold and most likely I would never do a thing like that, but that’s what seperates my brother and myself, and that’s how he expresses himself.  

If you think that these boys did this as a joke, you’re sadly mistaken.  One of the kid’s mother passed away from cancer, and he didn’t even show up for the game, and I don’t blame him one bit.  Matt’s older brother, Jacob, also plays but didn’t get the haircut, and although he was set to play for that night, their father didn’t show up either.  I am very proud of Matt and his father Mark for not giving in to such foolishness. 

Where does it say in the rule book that you can’t have a mohawk with the Breast Cancer Awareness symbols?  You can look all day but you won’t find anything related to hair style, color, or anything of that matter.

I know I’m digging deep here, but if there was one thing that I could maybe agree with you is linking the mohawk with the cancer symbols.  Still, it is their hair, and so what if it’s a bold statement, who are you to take that away from them?  Make them either shave off the symbols, or the mohawk, but not both of them.  But honestly I see no sense in what you were trying to do in the first place, but when I write I always try and see both side’s of the topic.

Walk around at the state wrestling tournament this week, you will see a variety of hairstyles including mohawks of all colors.  Are you going to tell the girls basketball team not to get high lights because you don’t like blonde hair, too?  Or if a kid has a mustache are you going to sit him down? 

Cullen did not see any playing time for the varsity game, even though he complied and got his hair buzzed.  Even when the game was out of hand, he didn’t see one minute of playing time.  So what are you actually teaching these boys?  Don’t do this and don’t do that or you won’t play, but if you listen to us and do what we say, we’re still going to punish you.  (*If someone could give me the score that’d be great)

If you think it is disrespectful, then you obviously aren’t doing your part  on your end of the spectrum, because you need to give respect in order to receive it.  The school isn’t a jail, and they have the freedom to express themselves in any way that they please as long as it isn’t hurting others.  A crazy haircut is harmless, and fun, so hopefully you think twice before trying to rain on the parade of individualism set by a high school student.

I remember in 2000, when we went to the dome in football, and all of the football players bleached their hair (I believe Eric Henry, current head coach of the Iowa Valley Boys Basketball team, was on that same team in 2000).  Sure you had helmets to cover up your hair but what about when you took them off?  What about when you had to turn around in a couple of weeks to play basketball?  95% of the team had bleach blonde hair.  How much more hypocrytical and illogical can you be?  Start worrying a little bit more about your players skills, and a little less about their hair-styles.


Written by coreyyardley

February 15, 2011 at 4:45 PM

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