Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Do The Right Thing - The Sequel

I wrote earlier this month about how my alma mater Birmingham Roeper needs to name their basketball court in honor of departing longtime hoops coach and athletic director Ernie Righetti (close to 800 wins, 18 district titles, 18 league titles). It should be a no-brainer. It should have been done a long time ago.
Well, here's Part II of how my beloved RoughridersNation could be making another GINORMOUS mistake and what they need to do right now to avert it. What's the right thing to do.
Name Righetti protégé and state-championship winning soccer coach Ed Sack Righetti's replacement.
The 'Riders are in the midst of a three-ring circus which is parading as the selection process for hiring a new athletic director. Sack, who led the school to its FIRST-EVER team state title back in the fall on the boys soccer pitch, was passed up in Round 1 of the AD search. Now, after the recent announcement of the Roeper family and its original hire, Danny Herz (born in S. Africa, went to college in Ohio, coached HS bball in FLA and CA) parting ways after less than 6 weeks – only one of them actually spent in the state of Michigan – SPECIAL ED needs to get the nod. The powers that be at the school made a mistake the first time around IMO and this can make it right.
Sack is a tried-and-true Roughrider – he's been at Roeper for over 20 years and has headed one of the best small-school soccer programs in Metro Detroit for almost just as long. In terms of rock-solid human beings and high-quality work ethic, he's an ace's ace. This is your guy, Roeper, you need to embrace him, instead of seemingly trying to usher him out the door.  
In a twisted, almost-inconceivable way, the fact that Sack is a Righetti disciple seems to have hurt his cause in the initial race for the job, more than it helped him. Why Righetti himself doesn't have more (if any) say in this decision is a TRAVESTY for another blog post.
This is the way to right the wrong. Hire Ed Sack, call it a day and you'll have your AD for the next 10-15 years guaranteed. The Herz choice was risky for a number of reasons – one of which doesn't need to get brought into a public forum at this moment and the other for his apparent restlessness in prior positions despite his obvious sterling reputation as a highly-successful coach and mentor of young athletes and men (including the 2011 campaign, Roeper was school No. 4 for him).
Burney's hoping that my main man Ed Sack (he was a teacher there when I was in high school) finally ends up where he deserves – as Righetti's successor and Roeper's new athletic director.


Blogger Rene Ratchford said...

Cliff Russell, a Roeperian and AD finalist-
As we are attempting to right a wrong with the botched hiring and release of Hertz, let us be thoughtful and not make a hasty decision. While considering Ed Sach for the interim AD, let us also reconsider AD finalist and Roperian Cliff Russell. Clliff a fellow Roepr Alum, lived the true essence of the Roeper philosophy along side of our beloved founder George Roeper. Cliff has also participated in the Roeper experience as an Alum parent, former trustee and yes as one of Ernie Righetti's coaches. Cliff also brings with him experience as a coach (also under Ernie's mentor and former Roeper AD, Sid Fox) and as an Athletic Director.
As only fellow Roperians can attest, Cliff will also bring with him a myriad of life and professional experiences in broadcast journalism and public relations; imagine embracing a true Roeparian within our administration. As Roeprians, we pride ourselves on acceptance and embracing of us all. Frankly, I look forward to the opportunity of putting this rhetoric into practice. Embracing a black male role model for all of our children is long overdue. And please, let's not rest on our (Randall) laurels.
As my affiliation with Roeper approaches its 20th year; as an Alum parent to 2 All State athletes including a 2 time State Champion and as a parent of a current student, I have a voice that also should be heard. Choosing the new AD has been an exhaustive process that has us pitted against each other. So I ask that our next step be thoughtful, aimed at what is best for this current student body. Please reconsider Cliff Russell as Roeper's next Athletic Director.

June 26, 2015 at 10:09 PM 

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