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Kansas football playoff system needs a change
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Here’s a good one — “because that’s the way it’s always been done.”
Until someone dies.
That’s the tragic lesson we’ve learned from the recent passing of Wallace County football all-stater Luke Schemm.
Schemm was a triple-sport standout at Sharon Springs-Wallace County who led his team to a state basketball championship. He was an all-state football player and a three-time high jump state qualifier.
Schemm was in the midst of a four-touchdown night when he collapsed and never recovered. He died a day later in Englewood, Colo. after one of the best football games of his career due to an apparent traumatic brain injury.
While there’s no direct evidence that attempting to play three football games in 10 days led to Schemm’s death — there is also no sensible reason why any state high school association should require three football games in 10 days.
It’s risky.
Once the playoffs start, the stakes get higher — and somebody dies.
That isn’t supposed to happen.
In 34 years of Kansas playoff football, I’ve never heard a coach say that they were looking forward to playing three football games in 10 days, or, that it sure sounded like fun to prepare for a playoff game in three days.
Typical coaching responses are it’s tough, it’s a challenge, or they are concerned that a player might get injured with such short recovery time.
The archaic custom of playing three football games was never a good idea. There was never a logical reason to start playing three football games in 10 days in the first place.
Every Kansas high school principal, athletic director and football coach in Kansas needs to demand a change — immediately.
Push the season up a week, extend the season a week. Do whatever it takes.
Call it the Luke Schemm rule.
Just don’t keep doing something because it’s the way it’s always been done.

— Jim Misunas