CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The assistant principal, athletic director and girls basketball coach at Summers County High School sees a proposal to open up more time in the summer for high school sports practices as potentially both a good idea and a bad idea.

“It has some great points and some things that could really help our student athletes and help our families and, at the same time, if it’s used inappropriately, it could really cause some problems,” said Wayne Ryan on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Currently, school summer athletic practices are limited to a three week period.

With the proposal the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission’s Board of Control has approved, school principals would have the option of authorizing additional practice times for most other summer weeks with the only exception being the week of July 4.

The state Board of Education could vote on the proposal later this year.

“I hope expanding into the summer gives a little bit more flexibility and balance to the kids’ lives and I hope the coaches can keep it in perspective because, if you want to be so regimental in what you do and your requirements are too strong, you’re going to run some athletes off,” said Ryan.

He said, if more summer practices become an option, it will be up to principals and athletic directors — like him — to police those practices.

“In theory, it’s a great rule change, a great rule proposal, if it’s handled appropriately.  If it’s not handled appropriately, it could cause a lot of problems so someone is going to have to monitor it,” he said.

In addition to working in the school system and seeing the proposal as a coach and administrator, Ryan’s son plays three varsity sports.

A public comment period on the WVSSAC’s proposal will begin next month.  If the state Board of Education approves it, the new rule would be in effect for the 2015-2016 school year.

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  • Tom

    I agree that some balance must be reached. I am a coach and it frustrates me that I cannot help my athlete who requests some individual attention with his sport because I only have the season and/or the 3 week period to work with that athlete. I can be a great resource for a kid who wants to work on his fundamentals yet I legally cannot even work with just one willing athlete who wants some help.

  • Michael

    Let the kids be kids for a few months for God's sake! These kids are now expected to take AP classes and College classes and also do summer assignments now and they have no life during school months. Let the kids hang out at the local swimming pool or simply do nothing. This does nothing but burn kids out faster all for an extra win or two. The coaches are the ones who want this and sports are way more important to them than the kids anyway!! Ask the parents of the kids who will now have to find transportation to and from "voluntary" practices everyday of the summer as well. Just my opinion...but leave them be!!

  • scott

    This is a terrible idea!

  • Joe Schmoe

    “In theory, it’s a great rule change, a great rule proposal, if it’s handled appropriately. If it’s not handled appropriately, it could cause a lot of problems so someone is going to have to monitor it,”

    key word- "APPROPRIATELY"-

    You will have coaches who will not play players if they miss practices that are "VOLUNTARY"- ask a college player what "VOLUNTARY" off seasons workouts mean- it means "MANDATORY"

    • scott

      Vote No

  • Fightin' Squirrel

    This is the beginning of year-round school. If you can practice all summer, you might as well be in school all year. When the nose of the camel gets in the tent the rest is soon to follow.

  • Parental_unit

    The whole crux of this situation is summed up in his one quote, “In theory, it’s a great rule change, a great rule proposal, if it’s handled appropriately."

    That is one huge "if." Sadly, there are too many coaches who would use this new rule - if passed - as a means to hold their athletes beholden to them all summer. These student-athletes know that not participating in these summer sports practices is an automatic one-way ticket to the bench once that particular sport begins its official season. And if this rule passes for all summer long, then I know a lot of vacations will be disrupted. Adding to this could be a pitting of a high school coach vs. an AAU basketball coach/summer baseball/travel soccer coach and who gets caught in the crossfire for an athlete's loyalty? The student. How about non-instructional, summer-long open gym / open field times as a compromise? This way, kids still have a place to go if they so choose but without the veiled burden of appeasing a high school coach?

    • Joe Schmoe

      Exactly. well said. You hit the nail on the head

    • OldSkool

      Amen Parental Unit. With travel ball of all sorts there is already conflict. I have seen first hand the high school coach demand the athletes be at " voluntary" workouts in the summer and those that were participating in travel ball for another sport be penalized. And this wasn't even in the three week period.

      Right now the kids have about 10 weeks off in the summer. If the coaches want more time to work with the kids, fine, maybe up it to 4 weeks but each sport should have a limit, not the whole 4 weeks.

      This is a bad rule. Just who is going to be the monitors? Too much room for abuse, not enough time to be kids. Just another step towards the "balanced school calendar"' ie year round school if you ask me.