1964 State Basketball Tournament Program - A Message From Dr. Pullen

On this 75th Anniversary of the MPSSAA on January 26, 2021, it is only fitting that the association reprint the inside front cover of the 1964 State Basketball Tournament Program.  Dr. Thomas G. Pullen, Jr., State Superintendent of Schools at the time of the formation of what would become the MPSSAA, announced his retirement on June, 1 1964 after 38-years of dedicated service to the public schools of Maryland. 


As stated in the Editor’s Note:  No single man in Maryland has done more for the development and improvement of fine physical education programs as an integral part of total school education.  We greatly appreciate his statement above which identifies school athletics as the educational force it is. 


A message from Dr. Thomas G. Pullen, Jr., State Superintendent of Schools - March 12-14, 1964


Parents interested in the best education for their boys and girls should feel proud that every public secondary school in Maryland has a comprehensive physical education program.  Interschool athletics is an important component of the total program of education.  As a matter of fact, I believe that the experience of playing athletic games is essential to the education of all children and youth who attend schools in the United States.  Their participation in athletics as players and spectators is a part of their education.  School administrators and educational authorities regard school athletics as an educative force of great power; consequently, all efforts should be directed toward conducting athletics on a sound basis. 


I believe that cooperation and competition are both essential elements of American life and that athletic participation can help teach the values of cooperation as well as the spirit of competition.  Other values I see accruing to the participants are the health and happiness, physical skills, emotional maturity, social competence, and moral values.


Adults who have been fortunate enough to have engaged in athletic competition themselves will readily agree that playing hard and playing to win can help to build character.  Character building also takes place in learning to “take it” in the rough and tumble of vigorous play, experiencing defeats without whimpering and victory without gloating, and discipling oneself to comply with the rules of the games and of good sportsmanship. 


Athletics is a good example of the value of the democratic process and of fair play.  Through team play the school athlete learns how to work with others for the achievement of group goals.  Athletic competition can be a wholesome equalizer.  Students judge each other for what they are and for what they can be, not on the basis of social, ethnic, or economic group to which their families belong.  


All in all, there is much more to the basketball games we are witnessing this tournament than meets the eye.  If we recognize that each team has already reached eminent success in its local community to qualify to be here, we will not reserve our applause for the winner only.