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. Reggie Grubb

    January 31, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I am the fortchiswell kids father not here to argue with anyone but for my son’s sake I will enlighten y’all so y’all may know us a little better. My son is from George Wythe his dream was to play at his cousins high school (Randy Grubb) and (Gary Clark). His 8th grade year he wanted to play for his cousin(Randy Grubb)@ Dublin when he was told he probably wouldn’t Qb buy my cousin he doesn’t ever care he just works hard! They refused to let him transfer! Pulaski was under Balor and allowed my son’s to transfer with the condition we would move to the area the next year and continue to play for the Orioles. My other son who doesn’t play football has led his middle school basketball team to a 20-1 record and my youngest is in sixth grade! All of my son’s love and represent the O’s My son started out 4th string QB and worked his way up won the Jeff king award in basketball and I promise y’all it was earned the right way! I have 3 son’s one of which is a diabetic I occasionally have to miss games or show up late I don’t talk to COACHES and can assure ya’ll nothing has been promised to my son well son’s! We moved to Pulaski June 12th 2013. I live in north jefferson below prospect in a house the judge used to live in. I am a teacher to special needs kids and a artist as well most of my time I spend painting and fishing in the summer rarely do I even talk about sports to them! Grades are my focus my son has a 3.8 gpa but I couldn’t tell u his sports stats!I sure don’t want people thinking I feel I’m better than anyone! We are just common hard working people like anyone else!I am the one from max meadows!My son is from wytheville! His last 2 football games in middle school was played with a coach that got FIRED and if it wasn’t for me inquiring about pre season workouts we would have never known! None of the pulaski kids knew when the workouts was! So to say we had promised playing time is a misconception! I don’t want any hard feelings with anyone in the community! We don’t know anyone! I live in north jefferson off 8th street. I’m a pretty nice person! My kids are average humble kids. My son was really hurt when he read these comments and showed them to me! I told him I’m sure there great people they just don’t know us! Hope this helps a little and like I said not looking to argue or anything of the such God Bless the Grubbs

  2. J.P. Widner

    February 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    The Grubbs,
    Your two older boys were a delight to coach in football at PMS. Bryant was by far the best QB we had and as coaches, we ignored a few parent’s criticism during the 2012 season. I had the privilege to teach CC in PE where he showed his enthusiasm for any sporting activity. Both were well mannered and pleasant to be around.
    Unfortunately, the 2012 PMS football season didn’t produce numerous wins even tho we were competitive in most games. It was really tough when the administration met with the team several times and threatened to take football from them. I’m sure your boys told you about those meetings. By the end of that season, the principal had fired two of us and Coach Eaves was sick of the situation. That being said, all three of us coaches enjoyed coaching Bryant and CC.
    It was a joy to see CC lead the Orioles to a 20-1 season this year. I also enjoyed writing the JV football articles where Bryant had his ups and downs and growing pains. He always seemed to step up his defense to save the day even when he had a tough day on offense.
    I envy you as you get to cheer on three boys through their athletics and academics. I enjoy my son’s endeavors as I know you enjoyed yours.
    Lastly, I hope you can ignore, forgive and pray for the jealous people that continue to produce strife for your family and others. I look forward to watching your boys succeed throughout high school.
    God bless, J.P. Widner

  3. burman

    February 3, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Mr. Grubb, those original comments came from another parent and you know why. With so many of our young people leaving Pulaski County to get away from our school system, it’s nice to see that somebody came here. And it’s no suprise to anybody, nobody in this county does anybody any favors in sports anymore. Its puzzling to me why you did what you did as bad as the football situation is around here.

    • Reggie Grubb

      February 6, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      Felt God my son’s have always wanted to play here! I’m a man of faith so my trust and reasons are all based of my faith that God will continue being God! Pulaski has some brighter days coming! I feel it in my spirit! Not just because my kids either! God Bless!

      • the truth

        February 9, 2014 at 8:22 pm

        There will be brighter days when Jones is gone but until then we can look forward to 5-5 or maybe 6-4 and then stagger into the watered down playoffs. That has and will be the norm as long as Jones and his group are coaching. You should have stayed in the Fort IMO at least they seem to be doing things the right way…

        • concerned

          February 10, 2014 at 9:18 am

          The truth is still a DB. This comment section had nothing to do with Jones and the man just gave his reasoning behind why he chose Pulaski. The real truth is that 5-5, 6-4 is what you can look forward to regardless of who is coaching and hopefully sprinkle in a few really good seasons every now and then – hopefully soon since the Grubbs have made a choice to come here and are great additions to our athletic teams, our community, and our school.

  4. pchsdad

    February 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Garrett SeniorEditor
    Our annual debate over the so-called “Tebow Bill” has been in full swing around these parts for a week-plus. The bill has finally made it through committee in the General Assembly, passing on a full GA vote last Thursday. The bill is now in a Senate committee, and will eventually likely be put to a full vote there as well.

    This is as close to passage as the Tebow Bill has come since its first proposal in Virginia. About half the states currently have comparable laws, which allow homeschooled children to play high school sports at their local schools.

    I’m opposed to the law on several grounds. Let’s look at it:

    1. Apples to (Home-schooled) Oranges – In order to play high school sports, a fairly long list of criteria must be met. That may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but, within a given school system, everyone more or less has to abide by the same rules if everything is being run as it should. People know this means taking a certain number of classes or getting a certain GPA to be eligible, but it goes beyond that. Kids at public schools have to follow the same schedule as their teammates, make nice with teachers they may not like, sit through the same boring assemblies, hurry from class to class before the bell rings every day, and so on. I remember when I was in school, if you weren’t in over half your classes on gameday, you couldn’t play.

    I’m not sure if that’s still the case, but the point is that these are all the minor facets of high school life for which the homeschooled student has no direct analog. This may seem like a small element, but it isn’t. The point of the exercise is that this is a shared experience. Everyone is subject to the same rules and oversight. Allowing homeschooled kids to participate is intuitively unfair to the athletes who have to do all the “little things” that someone going to public school has to do in order to stay eligible. So, in addition to often-voiced concerns about whether the “big” criteria (meaning academics) are comparable, I’m concerned about whether it’s fair to ask public school kids to have to comply with all of the day-to-day aspects of high school life, but have a separate group of players who are under no such obligation.

    2. Paying Taxes is Not a Golden Ticket – This is the big one. The primary mentality fueling the pro-Tebow-Bill side is, “Hey! These parents pay taxes! Their kids should be able to play sports, too!”

    This is a silly line of reasoning.

    For one thing, paying taxes isn’t some magical membership card that entitles every citizen to every government service under the sun. I think the much-repeated example of demanding to fly a jet for which your taxes paid isn’t particularly helpful, but consider a less-outlandish scenario . . .

    Most revenue that’s eventually used for public education originally comes from property taxes. With that in mind, consider a family who rents an apartment in the district of school X and who pays no property tax. Their son plays high school football for school X. Now consider my situation. I’m a homeowner with a house in the Douglas Freeman district, but I don’t have any kids.

    So, if you think that a homeschooled kid not being able to play public-school sports is unjust on the grounds that his parents pay taxes, must it not also be unjust that a child whose parents pay no taxes is allowed to play? And what about me? I have no children, but I pay more than the average taxpayer. What do I get for that? Should I be able to show up at the Freeman cafeteria a couple of times a week and demand a free corn dog?

    The reason this seems ridiculous is that the argument falls apart under scrutiny. In no other aspect of life is there an expectation that the mere fact of tax payment confers a right for one not only to enjoy a benefit or service the government provides, but to choose precisely how that service will be provided (see #3 below).

    Never mind the fact that this line of logic hardly accounts for the reality that many players have parents who pay no net tax, or that some players are wards of the state, or that some taxpayers have no way to access this benefit. Not to mention the fact that, if this argument applies to sports, it should theoretically apply to almost any individual activity at a public school. For example, there’s no privately-run equivalent to Key Club that a homeschooled kid could join, right? So, should the Key Club have to permit membership by non-students?

    The direct relationship between payment of taxes and a “right” to play high school sports is one that has been crafted from whole cloth for the purposes of getting this bill passed.

    3. The Lesson – Nearly as important as the logical failing of the pro-Tebow-Bill argument is this corollary: “Just because we pull our kids out of public schools doesn’t mean our kids shouldn’t be able to play on public-school sports teams!”

    Yes. Yes it does.

    That’s exactly what it means.

    One of the essences of life is the idea of opportunity cost. Choices have consequences. Public schools (rightly) don’t want to allow outsiders to play on their sports teams. A parent is perfectly free to have their kids play public school sports, which are open to all, so long as the student lives in the district and is of the correct age.

    What they don’t get to do is say “We reject public schools as dangerous or heretical or immoral or incompetent or otherwise incapable of educating our child in the way we see fit, so we won’t be partaking in that educational path . . . except on Friday nights at 7:00.”

    And that’s a good thing.

    Because not only is it perfectly reasonable for teachers and administrators to expect only students who are enrolled at the school and fulfill all requirements to be allowed to participate in sports, but that bargain also teaches a valuable lesson about opportunity cost.

    If you want the promotion at work, maybe you can’t take a bunch of Fridays off to go play golf. If you want a girl to marry you, maybe you can’t ignore her for weeks until you feel like seeing her again. If you want to make your mortgage payment every month, maybe you can’t spend thousands of dollars on rare comic books.

    Likewise, if public schools are good enough for you to play sports for them, then they’re good enough for you to comply with all of their requirements for doing so.

    Sports are an extracurricular activity. Note that word. Extracurricular.

    You don’t accept the curriculum?

    You don’t get the “extra.”

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