Mark Yost is the author Varsity Green: A Behind the Scenes Look at Culture and Corruption in College Athletics. But back in late September, he was more interested in a high-school game: Plano vs. Allen, which the Eagles won by the score of 30-13. Yost wasn't really there to see the game -- well, not entirely. He made the trek on behalf of The Wall Street Journal to see why Allen's building that $60-million stadium set to open in August 2012.
Yost writes in a piece that'll appear in tomorrow's paper that he was all set to hate the very idea of it. But then, an early Christmas miracle. Let's skip to the end:
I came here expecting to find a symbol for all that's wrong with youth sports in America. But I went away feeling just the opposite, mainly because Allen is so genuine. Texans really do live and die for high-school football. The game against Plano was a scene straight out of Friday Night Lights, complete with cheerleaders, a rousing marching band and rabid fans. It was a slice of Americana.
In short, the people of Allen are willing to pay $60 million for a high-school football stadium. And they're not shortchanging academics to do it. In my view: No harm, no foul.