Short takes for Aug. 30

High school sports are back

THUMBS UP: We’ll call this one of the most wonderful times of the year. It’s high school sports season once again. The high school volleyball season got under way a few days ago, and Thursday night, a number of area football teams hit the field, with more games to come tonight. We want to wish all our area athletes and teams the best of luck this fall sports season.

NCAA: If you want to send a message, send a message

THUMBS DOWN: As if the Johnny Manziel story wasn’t already blown out of proportion enough, more news came on Wednesday when his team and the NCAA announced the Heisman Trophy winner will be forced to sit out the first half of the Texas A&M Aggies’ season opener against Rice on Saturday. The reason we’re even responding to this news is because it’s so ridiculous. If the NCAA wants to set a precedent and come down on a college player for allegedly making a profit off his own name, then do it. Make him, at the least, sit out the whole game. This isn’t even a slap on the wrist, and that’s surprising coming from the NCAA – an organization that loves to flex its muscles and exert its power. And if it hasn’t been proved that Manziel violated the school’s “Code of Honor,” why punish him in the first place? Here’s an idea: Just let Division I college athletes profit from their celebrity. The school they play for does. The NCAA does. Why not student-athletes?

Minn. West program

THUMBS UP: Good job, Minnesota West, on your high-risk traffic stop program this week. The program worked with law enforcement from the area on how to handle potentially dangerous traffic stops. While we’re fortunate we don’t see too many of these situations in rural Minnesota, it’s good to know our law enforcement personnel have the training it takes in the event that something does happen.