West Virginia Senate passes Tebow sports bill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Home-schooled students in West Virginia could play on public school sports teams under a bill the Senate passed Tuesday.

Senators voted 24-9 to approve the bill, dubbed the Tim Tebow Act after the sports star who played at Florida private and public schools as ahome-schooler and later made it to the NFL.

“We want our kids to have the experiences that's going to help them to be successful as adults. Part of that, I believe, is extracurricular activities,” said Sen. Patricia Rucker, a Jefferson County Republican.

The proposal also allows private school students to play for public schools that are members of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission. The students would have to meet the same academic and disciplinary standards as other players on the school team, including taking standardized tests.

Sen. Paul Hardesty, a Logan County Democrat, said he wants home-schooled students to be able to play for sports teams, but said he's worried about athletic, academically struggling students leaving schools and still being able to participate in athletics.

"If we start seeing the people on the fringes falling out we need to do something and go back and revisit it and try to tighten it up," he said.

The bill now moves to the House of Delegates.

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