School board OKs new no-cut policy
Tonganoxie has yet another new no-cut policy for high school athletics.
On Monday nearly a year after it had rejected a policy it had approved just five months earlier the Tonganoxie school board adopted a policy that calls for:
Additional uniforms for all seniors who want to play sports.
Coaches to have the power to remove a player from a team if that player has an attitude problem or creates a divisive situation. However, coaches must counsel a player before removal, and coaches must involve the athlete's parents.
Coaches to have the power to determine who plays varsity, aside from seniors, and who doesn't. According to Kaw Valley League rules, seniors can play only on varsity teams.
Superintendent Richard Erickson said the new policy should solve recent problems.
"I'm really pleased that we have worked on these issues over the last five to six to seven months," Erickson said. "We've visited with coaches, visited with the board of education and I believe we've put this matter to rest."
This spring, 26 uniforms a home and away set were ordered for the boys basketball team for $6,200. That averages out to roughly $120 per player.
Board president Bob DeHoff voted against the policy because of the additional uniform purchasing. He said there have been some cases in which seniors will wait until their final year of eligibility to join a team.
"I have a problem with just because a senior is out they should be on the varsity squad," DeHoff said. "I don't want to cut anybody, either."
Board members said the KVL senior rule makes Tonganoxie's situation frustrating.
"It's been that way for a long time," said board member Dr. Richard Dean. "I don't know that anything can be done."
Last season, four seniors who had been with the boys basketball squad were told they could practice, but wouldn't see any playing time.
The board stressed that the new policy requires more of an evaluation system by coaches and that communication with parents about any problems should be extensive.
The former policy said all team members had the right to participate in competition as much as feasible. It also said playing time was relative to those athletes who developed work skills and displayed work ethics during practice.
In the previous policy, a coach could remove players for failing to complete a physical form, lacking sufficient application to work, lacking team cooperation or failing to observe training rule regulations as established by the coach.
The discussion over a cut policy began last July when former athletics director John Lee and some high school coaches proposed a cut policy last July.
The board didn't want a cut policy, leaving Tonganoxie as one of the few KVL members without such a policy. Instead, the board proposed establishing a C-team, which would accommodate players who didn't make the varsity or junior varsity levels. No C-teams were formed last season and the idea was abandoned.