Kevin Price commentary: Athlete's honesty shines brightly

kprice@ledger-enquirer.comMay 4, 2014 

Too often nowadays, the sports pages of newspapers or websites are filled with the misdeeds of athletes, coaches and owners.

Just look at this past week in the NBA. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was outed as a racist, although anyone who had read a single story about Sterling already knew it. Apparently, people in the NBA front office don't get a chance to read much.

You also have Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Darren Sharpe. I could go on and fill this entire column with the names of sports figures who lie, cheat, steal or worse.

Then you have Bram Miller.

Who?

It is highly unlikely you have ever heard of Miller before, but his story is one you should know. Ron Ingram, the media relations person for the Alabama High School Athletic Association, sent out a news release telling Miller's story.

Miller is a track and field athlete on the Falkville (Ala.) High team. He has been on the team for a short time after he played baseball earlier in the spring.

Miller won the Class 1A state title in the high jump Friday in Selma with a state record leap of 6 feet, 8 inches.

Some of the facts in that previous sentence are not true.

Yes, Miller won the state title, but he won at 6-6. He and two other competitors all cleared the same height. All tried to clear 6-8, but all three failed to do so.

But Miller won the championship since he had fewer misses than the other two.

When it came time for the medal ceremony, the track announcer told the crowd that Miller had won and set a new state record in the process at 6-8.

According to a news release from the AHSAA, Miller told the presenter about the mistake. But when the official results were published later on Friday, it listed Miller as the new state record holder.

"He told me last night, and we talked about it and I promised him we would get it corrected today," Falkville track coach Keith Wilemon said Saturday morning in the news release. "He made it clear he did not want to be given credit for something he did not do."

He won the race, so if not for his honesty, it is likely he could have gone for the rest of his life as the state record holder in Alabama for the high jump.

"I was proud to jump 6-6," told the AHSAA. "But I did not deserve the state record because I didn't set it. I had to tell someone. It was the right thing to do."

We need more athletes like Miller. We need more people like Miller.

Unfortunately, there are more people like those mentioned at the beginning of this column, who are willing to cut corners on doing what is right in the name of glory.

But the next time you feel that way, remember Bram Miller.

Kevin Price, 706-320-4493. Follow Kevin on Twitter@lesports

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