A Bit Of A Stretch (Pardon The Track Pun)

Ervin Mears, Jr. is suing his son’s former Track Coach, Athletic Director, and School Board for what he says is a violation of Title IX.

Mawusimensah Mears was dropped from Sterling Regional High School’s Track team after coaches said the sophomore “missed too many practices”. Plantiffs say the school is in violation of Title IX which, the suit says, “prohibits a student from being excluded from…any educational program or activity that receives federal assistance.”

The father claims that his son missed practices because of a leg injury and a death in the family. Ervin Mears, Jr. is suing for $40 million and the cost of two varsity letters and championship jackets.

According to the Title IX law, a violation of Title IX must be based on exclusion because of gender. It seems that Mears wasn’t let go from the team because of his gender, but because of missed practices. I think it’s the coach’s discretion to keep a player or not. I also think that if the Mears family pursues this lawsuit as a Title IX violation, this case may just be a waste of resources, time and money.


Paying It Forward!


Last month, The Sankofa Project teamed up with the Walt Whitman High School JV Girls Basketball team and Alice Deal Middle School Girls Varsity Basketbell team  for an experience both of these Lady Viking teams won’t forget. After more than three years of straight wins, Whitman chose to Pay It Forward by showing their younger peers at Deal some of their game winning skills!

Click here for the WUSA 9 coverage on the Pay It Forward Basketball Clinic with Diane Roberts!

In case you missed it, here’s the original Sankofaville article:

April 25, 2013 – Walt Whitman High School’s Girls JV Basketball team has won 67 consecutive games-and anyone watching these girls would know why. The skills these young ladies display on the court are evident of teamwork, drive, and a close bond between the players.  But while 67 consecutive wins would seem like it would warrant a well deserved break from all the hours of suicides, lay-ups, and rebounds; Whitman’s girls chose to Pay It Forward to the young ladies of Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, DC.

Alice Deal’s  ladies were excited to learn that they shared the same mascot name as Walt Whitman — the Lady Vikings.  They learned some new ball handling techniques and got to see fundamentally sound play …. An experience they’re likely to not soon forget.

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One father of a Deal player shouted with joy when he saw his daughter quickly pick up a move that he had been struggling to get her to execute for weeks.   They did stations, ran suicides and played against each other and at the end of the day, Deal’s  team just didn’t want the Whitman girls to leave.

At The Sankofa Project, we aim to raise the bar of expectation for female students who may not think of a college education as an attainable goal or athletics as a vehicle to a full scholarship.  We focus on bringing in positive peer pressure with the hope of encouraging more female students to participate in school based team sports, especially sports that can lead to an NCAA scholarship. Seeing these Middle School girls holding their own as they played a couple of short games with some very tall players made us believe that our mission was accomplished at Deal …  we are hopeful that these young Lady Vikings will following in the footsteps of their High School mentors … all the way through high school and college.  >>>> BELIEVE

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Fighting Mothers!!!

Behind almost every successful athlete, there is a fighting mother! I was inspired by this story. Do you have any “Fighting Mother” stories you would like to share as a tribute for Mother‘s Day?