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Off the Field – TSSAA rejects proposed changes (Dec. 16, 2015 issue)

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) Legislative Council met on Wednesday, Dec. 9, to address the proposed changes to the bylaws after months of deliberation regarding how to address the public and private school debate.
The council denied five of the six proposed changes, while agreeing to table the measure regarding students using open facilities and asking schools to report back from the upcoming meeting with clarified language in order to properly define the use of open facilities.
According to minutes provided from the meeting, the council voted against the proposed change of ineligible transfer students. With this meeting, the council denied students who involuntarily transfer from an academic magnet school or private school, whose territory encompasses the entire school district, to be able to participate in athletics at the zoned school district, immediately, provided they meet the requirements of the TSSAA.
The council also nixed another proposal to ineligible transfer students, that if a student-athlete has an athletic record for the previous or current school year in any TSSAA sanctioned sport, that the student-athlete would be ineligible in the sport in which an athletic record has been established, but could participate in a sport where no athletic record was established.
Another proposal that was denied was the addition of eligible transfer students, meaning that student athletes who are cut at one school could transfer to another school without having to sit out of competition for 12 months.
This did not apply to student-athletes who quit a team or got dismissed from that team after making the squad. A student-athlete who is cut from a program at a school is able to compete at another school if he passes all the transfer requirements by the TSSAA.
A proposal that any TSSAA member who is required to forfeit 50-percent or more of the regular season contests in any sanctioned sport of an ineligible player would be prohibited from entering the postseason in that sport.
The other proposal that was denied was changes to eighth graders participating in high school sports.
Individuals can visit, for more information on the minutes. The proposal came after the TSSAA recently voted against the idea to move certain private academies, classified currently as Division I schools, to Division II schools.
The changes are expected to ultimately cause certain academies to have to switch to Division II voluntarily.
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Light weeks of hoops are on the horizon for Unicoi County High School basketball teams as Christmas approaches.
The Blue Devils and Lady Blue Devils opened this week with contests at Science Hill on Tuesday, Dec. 15, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.
The ladies will end this week against Sullivan Central on Friday, Dec. 18.
The Blue Devils will conclude their stretch of games before Christmas on Tuesday, Dec. 22, with a trip to Jonesborough against David Crockett High School.
Lady Devil head coach Kerri King and company will compete in the annual Johnson City Honda Trailblazer Invitational beginning on Monday, Dec. 28, and continue into the new year.
The bracket for the event was not announced to The Erwin Record prior to our print deadline.
For the Blue Devils, head coach Michael Smith will see his team make the trip to Knox Bearden for tournament action the same week as the ladies.
UCHS will face off against Gibbs on Monday, Dec. 28, at 8:30 p.m. and will continue action on Tuesday, Dec. 29. If the Blue Devils defeat Gibbs, they’ll face the winner of the Austin-East and Loudon game at 8:30 p.m.; a loss on Monday will see the Blue Devils square off against the loser of that contest at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Updates on tournament brackets will appear, when available, online and in an upcoming edition of the paper.
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For updates throughout the week on Unicoi County athletics, visit The Erwin Record Sports Facebook page online. Readers can also check for updates on Twitter by following: @CurtisCarden_ER.