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‘Tim Tebow bill’ proposed in Kentucky for third time

October 20, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A Kentucky legislator for the third time is proposing a bill that would allow the state’s homeschooled students to participate in sports at their local high schools.

A Kentucky lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow homeschooled athletes to play high school sports. | Photo: Kevin Hoffman
A Kentucky lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow homeschooled athletes to play high school sports. | Photo: Kevin Hoffman

Rep. Stan Lee, whose daughter is homeschooled, said he wants equal opportunities for all students inside and outside of Kentucky’s high schools. The bill has been nicknamed the “Tim Tebow bill,” a reference to the former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner who was homeschooled in Florida but allowed to play sports at his local high school.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) opposes the bill but in a statement did indicate it’s open to working with Lee on modifying it. Among the association’s concerns are inequality in academic standards and the bill’s potential to influence competitive balance. In other words, it could nudge open the door for recruiting.

From WTVQ:

“You wouldn’t want people trying to abuse the system you know becoming a homeschool student to avoid the accountability that comes with being a student in the regular school,” cross country coach Steven Riley said.

Lee responds by saying home school players would have to adhere to the same standards, including drug testing and keeping up good grades. He says he is not looking for anything unfair, just an opportunity for some overlooked students.

“It wouldn’t be a guarantee, just an opportunity and that’s all we’re asking for,” Lee said.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tacket reiterated in a statement that the association doesn’t support the bill but “welcomes not only the chance to sit and discuss the issues and technical wording but perhaps further share concerns about the lack of standards for home school education …”

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