Law & Policy: Rules & Regulations
In Maine, Minor Changes Coming to Football Classes
by Travis Lazarczyk Morning Sentinel December 2014
A few teams will play in new leagues because of rising or declining enrollment. Class C runner-up Leavitt is among the schools moving. Leavitt's enrollment of 613 put it just above the new Class B cutoff of 586, meaning the Hornets are slated to join Western B under this proposal. Nokomis, which played down in Class C the last two years, will move to Eastern Class B.
Camping Ban Leads to More Scalpers at Red Sox Facility
by J. Scott Butherus and Cameron Kaiser December 2014
Shortly after midnight on Friday, Carl sat on a bench next to a monument to Carlton Fisk outside of JetBlue Park. He held a can of Bud Light in one hand and a 305 cigarette in the other as he basked in the halogen glow coming from the adjacent stadium lights.
New Transgender Athlete Policies Approved in Minn., Va.
by Emily Attwood December 2014
Following successful votes by their respective high school governing bodies, transgender student-athletes at high schools in Minnesota and Virginia will be able to participate in sports based on their identified gender.
"I applaud the Minnesota High School League's decision to pass a proposal that tells trans students in our community their identities matter just as much as everyone else's," said Congressman Keith Ellison in a written statement. "At a time when so many transgender students are bullied and harassed in the schoolyard, the MSHSL's decision recognizes their dignity and humanity on and off the playing field. All trans students are asking for is to be treated as human beings and I stand with them."
The policy has been getting a lot of attention in Minnesota over the past few months, delaying a vote initially planned for October after more than 10,000 emails were sent to league officials voicing opinions on the issue. Once again, supporters and opponents of the policy packed the meeting room for this week's vote, holding signs expressing their opinions. The new policy, approved by 18 of 20 board members, specifically addresses the participation of students born male but identifying as female participating in girls' sports, as state law already allows for girls' participation in boys' sports.
"We would not want to take away that privilege from anyone, but the answer is not to say that you should be given special privileges above and beyond everyone else," said Autumn Leva of the Minnesota Family Council, which submitted a petition with more than 5,000 signatures opposing the policy. "The answer isn't to say we're just going to completely ignore physical realities, especially in the world of physical sports."
The new policy in Virginia amends one passed by the Virginia High School League last February that included the requirement that students must undergo gender reassignment surgery before being allowed to play for a team matching their identified gender. The requirement was viewed as too strict and unobtainable, since reassignment surgery is rarely approved for those under the age of 18.
While the new policy removes this restriction, students must still meet a variety of criteria before their participation on a particular sports team is approved. Students must submit a personal statement affirming their gender identity, as well as testimonies from family or peers, and must demonstrate that they have begun some type of hormone therapy.
The materials must then be submitted to the VHSL district committee, which will review the materials and make a recommendation to VHSL’s executive director. If the request is approved, a student is immediately eligible to begin participating in a sport. If denied, a student can appeal the decision.
In Minnesota, students must submit statements from parents and healthcare professionals, leaving the decision up to the school's activities director, though appeals will be conducted by an independent party. The new policy will take effect beginning with the 2015-16 school year. Private schools will be exempt from the policy under state and federal law. The MHSL’s approval of the new policy brings the number of states with some type of policy addressing transgender student participation in high school activities to 33.
UT at Chattanooga Expels Wrestler for Sexual Misconduct
by Ward Gossett and Claire Wiseman Chattanooga Times Free Press December 2014
Corey Mock, a nationally ranked senior wrestler at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, was expelled Tuesday after the university’s judicial system found him guilty of sexual misconduct.
Gophers Suspend Guard After Alleged Attack on Girlfriend
by Paul Walsh, Star Tribune December 2014
After eight days in custody, suspended Minnesota Gophers basketball player Daquein McNeil posted bail and was released from jail ahead of a court appearance next month on charges that he whipped and choked his former girlfriend.
Pelini Farewell Meeting Costs HS Staffer Room Rental Fee
by Andrew Brandt December 2014
When Nebraska's athletic department let head football coach Bo Pelini go on Sunday, his players were — to say the least — upset.
Winston Conduct Hearing Concludes, Ruling Weeks Away
by Rachel Axon, @RachelAxon, USA TODAY Sports December 2014
Nearly two years after a female Florida State student first reported she allegedly had been sexually assaulted by a man she later identified as Jameis Winston, FSU concluded its proceedings Wednesday into whether the quarterback violated the student conduct code in December 2012.
Vote on Transgender High School Athletes Set for Today
by DAVID LA VAQUE; STAFF WRITER, STAR TRIBUNE (Mpls.-St. Paul) December 2014
A vote on the state's first guidelines for transgender students taking part in high school sports will be preceded by two days of sessions aimed at considering passionate input from differing groups trying to sway the Minnesota State High School League.
Complaint: School Employs Chaplain on Football Staff
by Eric Lyttle, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH December 2014
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has issued its fourth complaint in two months against the Licking Valley school district. The complaint, as with the other three, says the district is violating federal law by organizing, sponsoring or leading prayers at school functions.
Big 12 to Add Aid Increases, Longer Scholarships
by Dave Hickman, Staff writer December 2014
The Big 12 Conference took the first official steps Monday toward providing its student-athletes with far more financial benefits than they've ever known before.