It’s Basketball Time In Tennessee

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Dwight Loveday, Interim Assistant Dean & Department Head

College basketball preparation kicked off a couple of weeks ago. This week we have seen a lot of news on collegiate basketball, both good and bad. Today, the USA Today preseason poll had the Vols ranked 6th. Also, this week we have news of the illegal recruiting in college basketball. About a week ago, Coach Rick Barnes was asked about the collegiate basketball cheating (Knoxville News Sentinel, October 18, 2018). He stated that cheating had been going on for years and this scandal will probably not stop cheating. Cheating is occurring in other sports as well as business. “The people that want to cheat are going to cheat. What I want people to understand is not everybody cheats. No one should come up and say it’s widespread in college basketball. Because it is not. It’s not.”

I read this and I thought of our youth competitive events, especially livestock shows. Granted, there is probably cheating occurring in several types of competitive events. Many “things” can be misrepresented in order to gain a competitive advantage. The important thought from Coach Barnes is that not everybody cheats.These rumors and accusations are bad for our programs!

This story illustrates why we must keep in focus the purpose of 4-H competitive events. A competitive event is not a “project”. Competitive events should be part of the “project”. Competitive activities should be a teaching and learning opportunity. It is the processes of doing and completing that project that is important. It is the project meetings, judging events, skillathons and quiz bowls that stimulates the project knowledge and skills that impact the 4-Her to develop the life skills to be successful. Most of our youth do it right. Not everyone cheats!