UIL

High schools may continue to stream regular season football games on Friday nights and basketball shot clocks are on hold for at least another season, the University Interscholastic Legislative Council announced on Tuesday during its annual meeting at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center in Austin.

The Legislative Council approved a rule to allow UIL member schools to permit the live webcast of regular season football games on Friday night, but only on the Internet. Other live telecasts, including over-the-air broadcasts, will be prohibited.

Last year during the COVID-19 pandemic there were limited capacity at games and schools were allowed to live broadcast of games on Friday for the first time, lifting a longtime ban.

The UIL said at the time that it was a temporary suspension of its rules and was only for the 2020-21 school year.

The UIL surveyed its members and found that 81.1% were in favor of allowing Friday night football games to be live streamed online. The smallest percentage of those in favor was in 6A, where it was 71%.

Both schools will have to agree on the broadcast format.

The Council also approved the modification of rules to comply with House Bill 547, which pertains to the participation of non-enrolled students (Homeschool) in UIL activities if allowed by the local school district.

Additionally, the Council also placed a proposal to allow four playoff qualifiers for 1A Basketball up for a referendum ballot.

SHOT CLOCKIn May, the National Federation of State High School Associations announced that states can adopt a 35-second shot clock for high school basketball games beginning with the 2022-23 season if they choose. At the time, the UIL said that it wasn’t ready to join the eight states that were already using a shot clock.

North Crowley boys basketball coach Tommy Brakel proposed a shot clock for Class 6A and 5A. He added he had letters of endorsement from USA Basketball and Baylor head coach Scott Drew of national champion Baylor.

Sam Tipton, executive director of the Texas Girls Coaches Association, said he has not heard support for a shot clock from his membership and that no one in the TGCA has proposed adding it.

The UIL denied, rejected or took no action on Brakel’s proposal. The UIL didn’t specify which it was in its report on the meeting, and that portion of the meeting wasn’t available via live stream like the public forum and general session of the Legislative Council were.

HOME-SCHOOLED STUDENTSWhen the Senate passed the “Tim Tebow” bill in late May, that decision was taken away from the UIL. Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign the bill, meaning that home-schooled students can compete in public school events — if the school district or charter school they are trying to join allows it.

“We don’t have a choice,” UIL executive director Charles Breithaupt said. “I think every one of you in this room was opposed to that bill passing, but as a state agency, the UIL doesn’t have the opportunity to weigh in like that. We are being told what to do, except for this fact. I think it’s great that they give school superintendents or schools the choice on whether they allow home-school students to participate or not.”

The UIL will amend the previous participation form for home-schooled students to say that if they have moved into a school district within the last 12 months, it will automatically trigger a district executive committee meeting to determine if they transferred for athletic purposes. Also, if a home-schooled student drops out of school at any point during the school year, they are not eligible to compete in athletics the remainder of the year.

Home-schooled students will have to compete for the UIL school district in which they live — if that school district allows them to compete. If the school district doesn’t, then a home-schooled student could participate for a charter school that is geographically within the boundaries of that same school district, if the charter school allows home-schooled students to participate.

Deputy executive director Jamey Harrison said the UIL “pleaded” for the opportunity to wait until the 2022-23 school year to have home-schooled students begin competing, but was denied. That will start in the 2021-22 school year, and schools must notify the UIL by Aug. 1 if they are going to allow home-schooled students to participate.

Greg Riddle of the Dallas Morning News contributed to his report.

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Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.