DeAnthony Arnett to play in All-Star game, forfeit rest of high school athletic career

Posted: January 4, 2011 by Jared Field in High School

Saginaw Coach Lou Dawkins has chimed in on an archaic MHSAA rule that will effectively end the high school athletic career of  DeAnthony Arnett.

Arnett, a senior at Saginaw High, has committed to play wide receiver at the University of Tennessee in the fall. A highly-rated prospect, Arnett was invited to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday. Because it’s considered an all-star game, Arnett is no longer allowed to participate in sports at the high school level — no basketball, no track.

Here’s an excerpt from Rivals High:

“That rule needs to change in a hurry,” Arnett said. “It’s just holding kids back, limiting our options and opportunities. What is the point?

“It’s just terrible.”

It’s also a state rule that Michigan High School Athletic Association official John Johnson said no member school has proposed to change in his 24 years with the group.

Johnson said the rule represents a philosophical decision by the schools in the state – one where the team dynamic is valued over individual excellence.

“Schools in our state have historically frowned upon all-star games,” he said. “Schools feel this brings too much attention to an individual.”

Saginaw High athletic director (and boys basketball coach) Lou Dawkins isn’t so sure.

He’s been around long enough to know the rule – and know the rule isn’t going to change – but that doesn’t mean he agrees with it.

For Dawkins, it’s not about a chance to win games, but simply to play in them.

“It’s the memories of being around your friends and teammates,” Dawkins said. “He has to give up a lot of his dreams.”

I disagree with the rule, certainly, but it’s not fair to say that Arnett had to give up a lot of his dreams. He shouldn’t have to choose, but he could have opted out of the game.

In case you didn’t know, Arnett is a pretty darn good guard as well.

  1. Hoopsguru says:

    Life is full of choices (and consequences to those choices) and the sooner a young person learns that the better off they are in the long run.

  2. tarzand says:

    What if a player is a highly touted prospect in both football and basketball and is getting national attention in each sport?? That certainly takes away from a person’s honors and accolades. I simply do not agree with this rule at all. And Michigan is one of the only, if not the only, state that implements this rule.

  3. TheSloc says:

    This rule is total crap… they say they are worried about the team… THIS RULE PUNISHES THE TEAM by taking away their players… the saginaw high basketball team lost their point guard because of this rule.

    Is it Arnett’s fault he is a great football player? why should his basketball team be punished for this.

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