Friday, February 27, 2004

The Real Corruption in Sports -  

Those who care about sports out there have heard it, more or less, all before: Jamal Lewis attempting to buy cocaine, Gary Barnett running some sort of brothel/street gang at the University of Colorado, star baseball players jacked out of their minds with muscle enhancing drugs. For sheer strike at the heart of the game, nothing, it is now clear goes as far as the corruption in college flag football.

Flag football has a noble tradition of academic disloyalty. Take the squad that calls itself "Widespread Panic." In 2001, the team played for the University of New Orleans. In 2003, Widespread Panic made the tourney final as students at Nunez Community College.

These days, Nunez reigns as flag's all-powerful overlord. The 2000-student Chalmette, La., school has won three championships in five years under the stewardship of Andrew Sercovich, a 38-year-old former player who now teaches a one-credit athletic conditioning course at the school...

...In last year's flag championship game, the Nunez Pelicans and their 30-year-old quarterback David "Duke" Rousse scored a 26-7 victory over … the Nunez Widespread Panic. That's right: When flag football's most prestigious title was on the line, Nunez played Nunez for all the marbles. Even so, Sercovich bristles at the charge that he's running a flag football factory. He's particularly galled by accusations that his 28 players qualify by registering for a single course—Sercovich's own athletic conditioning class, which includes heavy doses of flag football theory and technique.

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