Education Matters and High School Sports

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

On Bill’s Eye, I haven’t written about the KET program Education Matters. We’ve been taping the monthly educational series since 2010, and it has covered a variety of subjects facing Kentucky schools, parents, educators, and children. Some of those subjects have been serving the state’s adult learners, technology for next generation learning, and arts in Kentucky education.

The most recent program, “Implications of Year-Round High School Athletes,” raises questions about a rather arcane rule in Kentucky high school sports called Bylaw 25. Although Bylaw 25 has been in effect since the 1970s, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) decided last year it needed a reinterpretation and explanation for all coaches and schools who participate in high school sports. Of course, it also affects thousands of student athletes and their parents.

On the Education Matters website, we asked some key questions: How has the KHSAA reinterpreted Bylaw 25, which governs what schools can and cannot do during the off-season? And what’s the potential impact on students?

The producers of the program brought together an eclectic panel that represented a cross section of viewpoints, including Julian Tackett, commissioner of the KHSAA. KET also traveled to Irvine to learn how Estill County High School is implementing Bylaw 25.

One of the more interesting aspects of the conversation had to do with “off-season” and “open-season” and how they are defined under the reinterpretation on the law.

“Perhaps the bottom line was the realization that the rules we had were broken and hard to enforce, even becoming a little antiquated compared to the needs of students and the desire of students and parents,” Tackett said.

This area of the law has a lot to do with how much student athletes are allowed to practice their sport sanctioned by the school versus how much they play their sport for an AAU or an out-of-school sponsored team.

If you’re interested in seeing the program, you can watch it online at Education Matters. It also will air several more times during the next few weeks on KET.

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