Just in the past couple weeks the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association revealed its finalists for the Executive Director position on who will replace Doug Chickering who is retiring at the end of 2009 after serving 23 years in the post.
One of those candidates in Appleton Area School District Assistant Superintendent Mark Hueneik. As an native of Appleton, and being an alum of Appleton North and knowing well who he is, here is why the public interest who follow interscholatic sports in general in Wisconsin should be very concerened if Huenink gets the top post.
- When he was a member of the WIAA Board of Control, Huenink has been worried more about illegimate issues to the WIAA then rather promote the advancement of high school sports at the highest level in Wisconsin. This has been evident as he has been very opposed of new policy directives to improve sports such as expanded seeding for sports like basketball and hockey. Huenink has been more for adding cumbersome regulations that infuriate athletes, coaches, parents, and fans alike.
- Hueninik has been a big time WEAC mouthpiece by adapting the WIAA’s sportsmanship agenda to WEAC’s liking and shoving down a very left-wing agenda down the student’s throat on what they can cheer or can do at a game. It is very sad over the last fifteen years that the WIAA has shoved down a very liberal agenda of sportsmanship that takes away the atmosphere of the game. I mean being a good sport is important, but Huenink will approve more policies that will restrict student’s first amendment rights in which students may just not chant anything at a game anymore.
- Huenink has been very supportive of some of the WIAA’s most illegitimate actions over the last decade including supporting Baraboo Athletic Director Dave Hedgepath’s decision to squash the USA chant over a hidden meaning in 2006 and also in the last two years putting cumbersome restrictions on newspapers during the post-season tournament series. Newspapers have been very livid with the WIAA since 2006 over a royalty rule in which any photos or articles they re-sell during the post-season tournaments that they must pay the WIAA a $100 royalty over a contract with When We Are Young Productions based out of Madison. Huenink has been anti-1st amendment by stifling freedom of the press. This has led their communications department to threaten to not give press credentials to those who opposed this royalty.
Rob Hernadez a respected prep sports writer for the Wisconsin State Journal has said that the WIAA should hire from the inside from the position, and I agree with him wholeheardtley. If Huenink gets hired for the position, he is not going to represent the state’s interests for prep sports, he will only represent WEAC and the special interest groups that spend lots of time to pressure the WIAA to pass bad policies.