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Stop the CCSU bashing

By Jeffery Armstrong

I try not to piggyback off my co-workers in the sports department, but I really feel compelled to say something. My co-worker Anthony Rhoads wrote a column about Clayton State and I feel I need to do the same.

Last year, I begged people to stop bashing Union Grove High School and now I'm asking readers to stop bashing Clayton College and State University.

Anthony and I were talking the other day and we were both surprised at how this community seems to always bash Clayton State.

Every time I turn around, someone always seems to be mad at us for having Clayton State info and stories in our sports section.

What gives? This is the only four-year institution in the Southern Crescent and they have very competitive sports programs. What's wrong with putting them in the paper?

The men's basketball team won a conference championship two years ago, the women's basketball team won the second-most games in team history last season and the soccer teams always seem to do well.

Clayton State's track and cross country programs also do well.

It is our job as sports writers of this community newspaper to inform readers about ALL local sports in the Southern Crescent. And believe it or not, Clayton State is part of the Southern Crescent and the community.

We at the News Daily and Daily Herald sports office know that high school sports are our "bread and butter."

We know that people in both Clayton and Henry counties love reading about the exploits of their high school-age sons, daughters, siblings, cousins, students and team members.

We enjoy covering these hard-working athletes on the gridiron, court, field, wrestling mat and golf course.

I also like talking with the high school student-athletes, laughing and joking with them and just letting them know that someone other than family and friends is rooting for them to succeed in sports and in life.

But to be honest, it's nice to cover some adult athletes every once in a while. It is a nice change of pace.

The masthead in our sports section says just that n sports n not high school sports, not middle school sports and not youth league sports. We simply cannot exclude Clayton State's sports because there are people who want to read about high school sports every day.

Several people, including myself, enjoy college athletics and Clayton State's athletic programs are very good.

Now that basketball season is upon us, I'm looking forward to covering the local university's basketball teams as they try to win their conference championships and maybe more.

But I guess it doesn't matter if the Clayton State men's basketball team wins the NCAA Division II national championship this year. That fantastic moment in local sports history can't run because people want me to go to Jonesboro and Henry County high schools and do stories on what senior basketball players Toney Douglas and Mike Rozier eat for breakfast during the week.

Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the News Daily and his column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at jarmstrong@news-daily.com.