Snow, cold weather, and the Tebow Bill

If this keeps up, we’ll be watching basketball games up until graduation day.

view from the sidelines mug

The recent cold weather and snow in the area has been tough on the high school and recreation league schedules around the area.  When the white stuff starts coming down, the red flags start going up.

As much as I hate to see the games being postponed, however, I am glad to see that our school administrators are taking the safety of our kids into consideration.  Something else I’ve noticed is that it seems like we’re getting that information a bit quicker about delays and closings.  After years of waiting until the last second to make those decisions, it seems like our current administrators realize how tough it is on parents when that happened.

The Cougars and Lady Cougars will get back to work eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later.  if anybody has any pull with Mother Nature, see if you can help us all out.

A couple of sports news items caught my eye the past few weeks, and since we haven’t had any games this week this is a good time to bring one of them up.

I am strongly opposed to House Bill 63, otherwise known as the “Tebow Bill”.  For those that didn’t see the article in our news section yesterday, this bill is often called the Tebow Bill because of the fact that quarterback Tim Tebow was a home schooled athlete who was allowed to play high school sports in Florida, even though he wasn’t enrolled in the school that he played for.

I have several problems with this bill.

First, if someone makes the decision to remove their child from public school and teach them at home, I completely respect and admire that decision.  It takes a great deal of effort, involvement, and dedication to your child to home school them.  It is the right of the parent to make that decision, and no one should try to stop them from making that decision.

What I can’t understand, however, is why that parent would want to remove their child from the system for education but then somehow feel that they should be allowed or entitled to be a part of that same system for athletics.

Athletic opportunities are not denied to home schooled students.  They can compete through the recreation league, as well as AAU and travel teams.   The YMCA in Pulaski County has leagues for some sports as well.

When a student takes the field wearing the cardinal and vegas gold of Pulaski County High School, they are required to meet plenty of standards.  They have to meet a certain grade point average, they have to be in good standing with the school, and they have to have maintained their attendance at school.

Get into a fight at school, your out.  Having a bad day, and run into a teacher or administrator who’s having one too, you’re out.  Home school students don’t have to deal with these issues.

By dealing with these issues on a daily basis, and by overcoming them and doing the right things, public school students EARN the right to represent their school on the athletic field or court.  How will it be fair for him or her to meet those standards and overcome those obstacles, and then possibly end up behind someone who didn’t?

One of the main arguments that home school parents use is that they pay taxes just like everyone else, so their kids shouldn’t be denied access to the school sports programs.  If that’s the case, we’ll also need to save room on the team for adults who don’t have children.

As one comment on our webpage said, “Tax argument is bogus. Always the same from the homeschool crowd. I guess we should not accept tax dollars from working people with no kids or senior citizens since they don’t use the public education system. I pay taxes too, shouldn’t I get social services, food stamps, Medicare etc. or should I get my tax dollars back. I don’t drive in your community but my tax dollars went to your road and speed bump…. Where’s my refund. Tax dollars are used all the time for public works etc. that all citizens don’t utilize. Try again taxpayer.”

I won’t get too deep into the issue of student transfers and recruiting, but it does need to be mentioned.  In this day and age of mommy and daddy taking little Bobby or little Betty to the school down the road because they have a better chance of getting playing time there and being “the next big thing”, I can only imagine how much worse things would be if home school students are allowed to play for school teams as well.

It comes down to loyalty to your school and loyalty to the students who attend that school.  The bottom line for me is that if an athlete wants to play for a particular school team, then that athlete should be a member of that school and be proud of that fact.  When the team gathers before and after the game and breaks down with “Cougar Pride”, that’s more than just a saying.  It means something.

The other side of this argument is that it’s up to those in charge to make Pulaski County schools a desirable place to be.  I personally see them that way already, but there is always room for improvement.  Our goal should be to make Pulaski County schools so attractive that students don’t make the decision to home school, even though it offers plenty of benefits to that student.  Our goal should be for every school age student that lives in Pulaski County to WANT to be a Cougar, and for them to want to EARN it.



20 Responses to Snow, cold weather, and the Tebow Bill

  1. Cougar

    January 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I have been told the sports page was for facts. Still looking for those in the editorial above. Wait… editorial? Opinion only? How nice to use your platform as sports editor as a soapbox. Just lost my respect… and readership.

    • Will

      January 31, 2014 at 10:42 am

      When has the sports page been for anything other than editorial bias? Facts on the sports page are indeed rare. It’s been more of a rants page for at least the last year.

  2. james

    January 29, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Interesting article Dave. Does this apply to our starting JV quarterback and basketball player who transferred from Fort Chiswell? He was promised playing time. Grant it, he is a good athlete, but he’s taking away playing time from a true Pulaski County native. His family lives in Max Meadows. How does that fit into your article?

    • fred

      January 31, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      If the athlete is good enough, it isn’t talked about. If they’re a regular Joe with average ability, they get pushed to the side and the Pulaski native is played instead, satisfying the relatives in the stands. And speaking of the average Joe, I heard that Coach Jones was told to pack his bags and be gone at the end of the school year. Is there any truth in this?

    • Editor

      January 31, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      **Editors Note**
      While I had made my mind up to only reply to posts on our sports Facebook page where I can see who I am actually talking too, I thought this one needed an answer. Since you made the accusation that the JV quarterback (that would be Bryant Grubb) lives in Max Meadows and was “promised playing time”, I figured the best way to find out for sure was to talk to his dad. He said he would be glad to invite anyone who wants to see where they live to his house on North Jefferson Street in Pulaski. Yes, they did live in Max Meadows before they moved here. All three of his sons, including Bryant, attended Pulaski Middle School and played sports there prior to starting at PCHS. His two younger brothers are there now. As for a promise of playing time at the high school level for a middle school kid that no one has seen play, I’ll just assume you were joking on that one as it is most likely the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Now James if you have any further questions for Bryant’s dad, I would suggest you go directly to him like I did tonight. It’s rumors and lies like these that cause problems. They cause resentment in the locker room, and they cause problems between the players. They need to be focused on staying out of trouble, getting their class work done, and doing a good job on the field or on the court. By the way, since I knew it would come up I ask, and Bryant has well over a 3.5 GPA. I think he said it was higher, but I’ll let him tell you if you want to ask. He lives in Pulaski County, he attended Pulaski Middle School, and now he attends PCHS. He has solid grades, and he has not been in any kind of trouble with the school or the police. I would say he is qualified to play sports or participate in extracurricular activities as he wants. If you’d like to ask his dad about it further, he is at all of the Cougar basketball games, or you can address him directly either on here or on our Facebook sports page.

      David Gravely
      Sports Editor

  3. concerned

    January 31, 2014 at 8:21 am

    What is your opinion and/or recommendation for outside students who want to play for the Cougars but don’t live in Pulaski County?

  4. concerned

    January 31, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Abide by the rules of transfer – either move into the county or sit out a year. If they transfer as first time 9th graders than they don’t have to sit out a year (I think).

    FYI – There have been several students that have played for Radford in the past that live in Pulaski county.

  5. Hmmm

    January 31, 2014 at 9:59 am

    If a homeschooled Tim Tebow type talent shows up and wants to play you’d all be proven hypocrites.

  6. concerned

    January 31, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Not me. Please don’t question someone’s ethics or moral compass without direct knowledge that proves otherwise. I find this classless to make assumptions about what I would do.

    I’ve stated my case and provided reasons why homeschoolers should not be allowed to participate (until further regs are implemented) but so far I haven’t seen one viable argument as to why they should be allowed to participate (taxes – nope, all I’ve received is “well you just don’t like homeschoolers”).

  7. Tim1969

    January 31, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Dave is entitled to his opinion. Doesn’t make him right or wrong.
    And you are right! If you don’t like his opinion, then don’t read his articles. Same as TV. You don’t like the program, change the channel.

    I think Dave has some very valid points. After reading all of these comments, I think the argument comes down to which parents are mad that their child is sitting while a home schooled child participates.

    It is hard to watch your child ride the pine, or worse yet, get cut from the team. The hardest transition is from youth leagues where everyone has to participate, to 8th grade athletics, and the best are going to play because now its about W’s and L’s. Was hard for me to watch my son sit on the bench on Friday nights, but you know, I wasn’t at the practices, (by choice) and I don’t know how his performance in practice dictated his lack of playing time. Something happened that someone else shined above him and earned that playing time. Put your big boy pants on and realize your child may not be the superstar that you see them in your eyes. We are all guilty of it!

  8. burman

    January 31, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Just another small issue among numerous huge problems with the federally run public school system. In the coming years, private schools may end up being the chief decision maker. Probably not a bad thing either. But this issue aint nothing, yall got the money for the new middle school yet? Sports is no longer a big issue in pulaski, but the taxes will be real soon. Glad i don’t have to pay them.

  9. somethingsneverchange

    January 31, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Yes, Dave, like everyone, has an opinion. I’ve always thought opinions belonged on the opinion page. The sports page should have scores, highlights, matchups, and player profiles. If the public hasn’t realize this, let me let you in on a secret. Dave writes these “stir the pot” articles every now and then to just get people talking, arguing, etc. He sits back, smiles at the controversy and then when it appears that all the readers want to choke each other, he steps in to tell us that we should calm down, support the athletes and coaches and the good ole Cougar days will reappear soon if we keep trying. A couple weeks later, another article will appear to stir the pot again. Sound familiar? Go back and read the pre-fall sports articles and more. It must sell newspapers because the editor has not stopped him from printing these.

  10. Versal

    January 31, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    This is one of the many reasons my children were privately educated. Sports are very important in the learning process. However, academics often take a back seat. Just take a look at what happened at UNC. There is so much passion around sports and so much fear little Johnny won’t get what little Billy has. Too bad an actual education isn’t as important.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login