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Off the Field – Debate nears end (Sept. 9, 2015 issue)

The private/public high school debate could soon be a thing of the past following, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) meeting that was held last week in Murfreesboro.
According to a report from Stephen Hargis with the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the decision by the TSSAA could ultimately force the majority of private schools currently in Division I to move to Division II.
A variety of proposals were voted on during the Sept. 1 meeting. Hargis reported that one of the new rules in place will be that any school that charges tuition cannot offer student employment, known as work study, to any student or a member of the student’s immediate family and remain in Division I. It will be considered financial aid if any loan, grant or any other program is given by a school for a student-athlete.
Another key component voted on during the meeting was the coaching link problem. An issue raised by public schools was students that competed in summer or spring workouts away from the school and play for coaches that may be from another school.
If that student was to transfer, they would not receive eligibility at that new school where that coach works for 12 months after the transfer.
The majority of issues voted on will not take effect until the 2017-2018 school year.
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Former Unicoi County High School football standout and Carson-Newman University graduate Corey Headley notched his first win as a college coach.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana, where Headley is an assistant coach, picked up its first victory of the season on Saturday, Sept. 5, against Kalamazoo by a 29-14 score during the home opener in Terre Haute.
Headley works with the wide receivers of Rose-Hulman and the team’s aerial attack proved to be the key to victory with 294 yards of offense accounted for by the passing game. Rose-Hulman was able to generate production in the second half, scoring 20 unanswered points en route to the victory.
Rose-Hulman returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 12, with a trip to Illinois College.
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After 12 years away from the area, East Tennessee State University football made a return last week. In front of a capacity crowd of 8,217 at Kermit-Tipton Stadium, the Buccaneers opened up the 2015 season against Kennesaw State.
While fans in attendance enjoyed the festivities surrounding the emergence of two football programs, the Owls had the last laugh by securing a 56-16 win over the Bucs.
The loss did not overshadow the overwhelming excitement current students and alum brought to the table and it will only continue to linger as the season, and years, go on.
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The Erwin Record’s award-winning sports coverage doesn’t stop in each print issue of the paper.
Readers are encouraged to visit The Erwin Record Sports Facebook page online for updates of Unicoi County athletics. Sports across the county can also be followed on Twitter: @CurtisCarden_ER.