In Part MDXIV of America’s continuing series “Why We’re Soft,” an 11-year-old running back in Malvern, Arkansas has been banned from scoring too many touchdowns in one game.
Sixth-grader Demias Jimerson dominates his opponents on the football field so convincingly that school officials are invoking the little-used, little-known “Madre Hill Rule,” named for a former Razorback great similarly wiped the floor with his opponents like Jimerson.
“Once Hill scored three touchdowns, if his team had a 14-point lead, officials banned him from scoring any more touchdowns,” Fox16 in Little Rock reported. And now Wilson Intermediate School officials are dusting off the same rule for young Jimerson. How exactly is that enforced? Is he supposed to run out of bounds, or is the coach supposed to bench him altogether with a lead?
Wilson Intermediate School Principal Terri Bryant swears the rule isn’t meant to punish Jimerson, but rather help the other 21 kids in the field. “The other players on both teams, 21 are just left sort of, this is all Demias,” she told Fox16. “So that’s why the Madre Hill Rule has been implemented.”
But how awesome is this kid? “I’m ok with it,” he told Fox16. Here’s the report:
Jeez, look at that kid go. How has USC not signed him to a commitment deal yet? By the way, the rule only applies to fifth and sixth grades. His shackles come off next year.
This is a noble effort on the part of the school, sure, but the rule still does accomplish the unwanted goal of punishing Jimerson. If he dominates the other team and outruns his own so badly, why not reward him with tougher competition? How hard would it be to, say, move him up to 7th grade now? Isn’t that the way things used to work in ‘Murrica? If this were about grades, wouldn’t we push him up to a smarter class rather than forcing him to slow down to meet his own peers?
Oh, and if you’re really looking for some hyper-partisan “In Obama’s America”-type commentary on this story, the right-wing echo chamber has you covered.
So what do you think about this one? Good for the school to look out for the development of others at a young age, or intentionally stunting the growth of a would-be superstar?