Summer practice proposal should be rejected

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission is the governing body for high school sports. The West Virginia Board of Education, meanwhile, oversees the entire school experience in the state, from courses of study and evaluating school performance to holding final say on the framework for extracurricular activities.

This distinction between the two entities never has been more important. Soon, the state Board of Education will have to decide whether the WVSSAC’s board of directors was correct to open up all but one week of summer vacation to “voluntary” school athletic practices.

The Board of Education should move with all haste in rejecting this proposal for a myriad of reasons:

— West Virginia’s students are far from national leaders in academic performance. This initiative sends a message that we value athletics, while doing nothing to raise the ante for classroom performance.

— Summer has long been set aside for quality family time, whether it’s been vacation, working side-by-side in family businesses or just sharing down time and meals. The three-week practice period in June already has undercut this; the WVSSAC’s latest proposal would cause irreparable damage.

— Saying this would help West Virginia young people obtain college athletic scholarships is an empty motivation. The number of West Virginians who have received full (or near to it) athletic scholarships comprises a minuscule fraction of the student population…

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