There has been plenty of negative publicity surrounding quarterback Tim Tebow since being waived by the New York Jets last week, but his success playing in high school is now being used in an effort to gain expanded rights for homeschooled athletes in Texas.
According to Matt Wixon of the Dallas Morning News, the Tim Tebow Bill has been passed by the Texas Senate. Provided it is passed by the Texas House of Representatives and then signed into law, it will allow homeschooled athletes to compete for local high schools in Texas.
Matt Wixon @mattwixon
Tim Tebow Bill, which would allow home schoolers to play in UIL, has about a month to pass in the House. http://t.co/wwRRrqa80g #txhsfball2013-5-6 19:17:16
The bill is named after Tebow because the polarizing quarterback was homeschooled in Florida. Despite that, Tebow was allowed to play for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, according to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo! Sports. Tebow led Nease to a state title, was named Mr. Football in Florida and went on to win two national championships with the Florida Gators.
Tebow's NFL career hasn't gone as planned since being chosen in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos, but he certainly serves as an inspiration for homeschooled athletes everywhere.
There are probably countless elite athletes who are being homeschooled in the United States today, but many of them don't have the opportunity to compete at a high level and appeal to college recruiters.
This is despite the fact that families with homeschooled children pay taxes to support local high schools. According to the Texas Home School Coalition, homeschooled children should have just as much right to high school facilities because of that:
Thousands of home schooling parents pay property taxes that fund public school activities and facilities, but their home schooled children aren’t even allowed to use them.
If Texas ultimately signs the Tim Tebow Bill into law, it will be a huge victory for homeschooled athlete advocates. There are already 27 states that allow homeschooled athletes to play for high schools, and Texas may be the most influential of them all. High school football, in particular, is a way of life in the state, and allowing homeschoolers to play is a potential game-changer.
With any luck, homeschooled adolescents in Texas will officially be able to thank Tebow for this new and exciting opportunity before long.
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