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Is it really beneficial for a kid who hasn’t played the entire game to put him in with less than a minute to go in a contest that is already decided?

The other night, during a junior varsity game, a player sat the entire game until, with 30 seconds left and the team up by 12, the coach sent him in so that he could say he played everyone. He stood on the floor while the other team dribbled the clock out.

For now, forget the issue that it was a game against a freshman team that the JV team had to use three varsity players to win, and that half the team only played less than a minute. This game was actually an extra game added to the schedule between the two schools in the district, and like any JV game, shouldn’t be played to win at all cost.

The real issue here is that it was more embarrassing for the player to enter the game with time running out and the game all but over than it would be to not play at all.By entering the game during the last minute, everyone in the crowd knew that the only reason he was coming in was because he had not played at all. If he had stayed on the bench, with 15 players coming in and out throughout the game, other than his parents, most likely nobody would have noticed he didn’t play.

This coach’s substitution patterns have not made sense all season. The player who did not play at all in the last game started the game before and played almost a half. The game before that, he didn’t play at all. And he’s not the only one to be yanked in and out of the lineup without any reason.But all of that aside, I was hoping that maybe in this extra game, the coach would find it in his heart to play everyone equal time, especially since other than the three players who also play varsity, the rest of the players are all about the same ability.

Remember, this was a JV game that really meant nothing, win or lose. But, no such luck. Instead, the same seven kids played most of the game while the other eight got their 2-3 minutes or less, just like during the regular season. Did I mention the team’s record was 7-15? One more reason everyone should have played equal minutes.In my opinion, putting a player in with less than a minute, just to say he played, is not a good idea. Call it what you will; I call it garbage.

Contact Jon Buzby at JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @JonBuzby on Twitter.

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