Archive for Wednesday, April 3, 2002

No-cut rule to get vote in summer

April 3, 2002

The school board won't address Tonganoxie High School's no-cut sports policy until summer.

The board originally planned to vote on the no-cut policy this spring, but will now consider it in June or July, shortly before the student handbook comes out.

"I think right now we'll wait until then," said Richard Erickson, Tonganoxie superintendent of schools. "That's an appropriate time to take care of it. We'll not only take care of athletics at that time, but also academics."

The board already has a no-cut policy, but revisions were suggested in December after a coach's decision drew criticism from some parents.

Tonganoxie boys' basketball coach David Walker informed four seniors that they could practice on the varsity squad, but would not play. In the Kaw Valley League, seniors can only play varsity athletics. Kansas State High School Activities Association rules allow for 12 varsity players, and Tonganoxie initially had nine seniors out this season.

In December, the board suggested these changes to the no-cut policy:

Additional uniforms will be purchased for volleyball, basketball and baseball (and in other activities if the need arises) to allow for all seniors to be included and suited up for varsity teams.

When postseason tournaments specify a limited number of players are allowed in uniform, the coach has the board and administration's support in determining who plays.

The coach also has the ability to determine who plays on varsity. If at any time the varsity coach (after attempts to advise and counsel a player) determines a player is creating an attitude problem or divisive situation on the team, the coach can remove the player from the team.

All players have the opportunity to promote within the team during the season. The coach determines this.

The district will not form C-teams because the idea has proven unsuccessful. The district established C-teams last summer to handle any increased participation in sports. C-teams were to be created along with the existing varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams if more students tried out for teams than there were positions available. The C-team idea was abandoned, though, when the teams weren't needed in fall or spring sports.

Walker said the proposed revisions don't constitute a major change in policy.

"I think the only thing that's changed from the past is the amount of money they're willing to spend on uniforms," Walker said.

The board will determine whether any policy changes they make will be merely suggestions or whether they will become part of the district's athletic handbook.

"My hope is that in June we seriously look at updating sports and academic policies and make any changes we need to make at that time," Erickson said.

If the policy does change for the athletic programs, Walker said he would be prepared.

"That's fine if that's the way we're going to go with it, we'll make it work," he said.

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