Garrett Cullen/MetroNews

The State Board of Education has blocked a proposal that would have expanded the summer practice session for high school athletes.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The State Board of Education blocked a proposal to allow high school practice session throughout the summer.

The expanded practice window had been approved by the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission’s Board of Control last month. The proposal, which received mixed reviews from coaches and athletic directors around the state, was halted Wednesday when the BOE declined to include it on the agenda for the upcoming 30-day comment period.

Because the measure won’t move forward this year, teams must continue to contain practices within a three-week window that starts in June.

More: State board member says proposal to expand summer practices could come up again

The summer practice proposal would have taken effect before the 2015-2016 academic year.

Those who favored extending practices claimed it would upgrade athletic training and especially help sports such as football, where conditioning workouts already are part of the summer routine. Critics pointed to the potential for overuse injuries and a drain on family time for student-athletes. Some claimed the expansion would create additional pressure for coaches, many of whom receive paltry stipends that don’t cover summer months.

Six other smaller proposals did move on Wednesday, and were placed on the agenda. The SSAC Board of Control could choose to revisit expanding the summer practice session in a later year.

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  • Teach

    Ok let's talk smart. Get real. Sports shape kids into excellent students and people In life. Sports of every kind is filled with discipline. Speaking as to how it affects the kids education. Every student athlete must maintain a passing GPA and most are held to a higher moral standard by their coaches on and off the field. So lets say sports r good for kids. Most highschool athletes play travel ball or league ball year round working on their skills for the following year to better them selfs and remember it is also a way for students to get scholarships as well who may or may not have been able to afford college after all. Allowing their highschool coaches be the one who works with them increases their odds of going further in that sport in college and reduces the chances of them learning bad habbits or doing things the wrong way and getting hurt. Why not allow a educated person work with the kids year round instead of joe smith off the streets and remember most coaches are teacher who also know the importance of education as well.

  • Coach Hatcher

    I have read the comments and I can see points from both sides.
    My view on this is, I wish we could just be around our kids, and not think we were doing something wrong. Why not have open gyms, and why not allow the coach to supervise, why not allow a few kids to come over and pitch and catch in October and be allowed to assist them, why not on a Sunday morning be allowed to meet your high jumper over on the track and let them work on their technique in September. I think what the rule needs to be, is allow coaches that want to coach, COACH!!! anytime and any place, as long as it's not mandatory, and as long it's not a full practice.
    I think that is all we want, I don't think we want to practice a formal practice 365 days a year, I think we want to be able to work with the kids that want to work extra. Maybe in small groups, or just individuals workouts. Some coaches would go overboard at first, but in the end it would work out ok.
    As far as pay goes, I don't want paid for the this, I would want protection if a kid rolls an ankle, or a ball comes off the rim, and splits his lip. Nobody coaches in this state for the money...
    Coaches would work together, we already do in the 3 week period, (or most of us do)!!!
    To be honest with you guys, if it would have been voted in effect, I was only going to use it to take a few kids that wanted to go, and work with them, or just open up the gym and observe them doing a workout. Most coaches like a little time off too.

    Coach Mark Hatcher

  • William

    Why does it have to be an all or nothing extension? How about trying a phased in approach whereas we extend for one week this year, review the results and decide whether to extend to two weeks the following year or simply cap it at additional one week and that's it. This approach allows for a controlled implementation and review.

  • Dan

    LOL! Only a socialist wing nut would publically state that "common core" is good! Yeah, sports do nothing to build character, leadership, integrity, team building.....not to mention all the football players in college who pay for the numerous horrible professors salaries, and tuition for all those band geeks who get scholarships, and those who cannot afford to attend college of their own accord who attend on the backs of the football team, and all those books in the college library paid for on the backs of the athletes...yeah, go ask your local college president to forego all the football and basketball money as a show of support for your stance and see what they tell you. Goof.

  • Ryan

    Part of the reason we fall short compared to other states as far as athletics are concerned. I've never understood the logic behind telling a kid that he/she can't show up and work their butt off. There are worse things out there that kids are getting into due to the fact that they have entirely too much time on their hands. Don't make it mandatory but allow kids to work with their coaches to achieve their dreams. Senseless

    • Dan

      WV mandates that teachers be handed the coaching jobs. The VAST majority of teachers are not qualified to coach at rec level much less middle or high school. WV must stop kidding itself. Its all about the teachers and their lust for MONEY above all. Nothing new.

      • William

        Agree. All of our border states that I am aware relaxed that requirement years ago.

  • Darrell

    If coaches mistreat students, then their supervisors need to step up and do their jobs.
    Meanwhile, I can't help a girl on my basketball team learn how to shoot a layup correctly if I run into her at the park or rec center. This is not about money, but about helping a child improve herself.

    • Dan

      It is about money. Your comments about trying to improve upon the athletes skill set via more repetitions to develop proper muscle memory is spot on.

  • dusty

    Well said Steve and Mike,i agree and I also voted.

  • Patchy

    If you want some eye-opening reading, take a look some time at the fine print of the program for any SSAC state tournament. There you will find the kind of micromanagement and paranoia over trifles that would have made the warden at Alcatraz blush. No signs, no souvenir sports balls, etc. etc. Every rule no doubt reviewed and voted on by the kind of killjoy 'educators' currently producing ignorant empty vessels by the truckload. To allow creativity and individuality might allow fun to creep in under the door and we simply can't have that.

    Somewhere in their bureaucratic synapses they imagine they are crafting some sort of Competitive Balance Utopia but like all false egalitarianism it's merely an attempt to boost the have-nots by tying the hands of the haves.

    As usual, any variations in individual or group characteristics are ignored at best or suppressed at worst. What about the team that wants to win more and is therefore willing to put in the hours? What about the coach who will go well above the strict call of duty to dedicate hours and effort to his team?

    Educrats have done their level best to stamp out community pride and spirit by constructing these soulless consolidated schools with their equally soulless mascots. But big schools are meant to draw big dollars from the state and the fed and if the kids have to sit on a school bus for an hour or more each day, that is literally the cost of doing business for unions and their political pawns. The SSAC's claimed desire to increase 'family time' is an unfunny joke given the length of the typical school day from departure to return.

    But it's all about the kids (they claim), and you'll never stop the next wave of Moms and Dads taking pride in watching their children play sports, even if the players have to cross the Continental Divide simply to attend Southwest County Consolidated Amalgamated Senior High School & Vocational Academy. Go Politically Correct And Preferably Ornithologically Correct USFS-Approved Eagles!

    Control freaks are just that. Teams and players who commit themselves to any endeavor should practice i.e. prepare as much as they like. In the Orwellian world the educrats have created, the coaches must stay away for fear of reprisals by their employer. But that doesn't mean the players can't congregate of their own free will even if it means using the park instead of the school grounds. Subversion is a very healthy thing for mind and body.

    • Educator

      Don't blame the educators. As an educator and a coach I agree with most of your post. However blame the lawyers and legislature for all those problems.

    • Dan


  • Gary Karstens

    President Obama has put forth the best initiative education has even seen in Common Core. It is time that children spend their free time in books and with educated minds. I am a little tired of our children being influenced by old jocks that bring little to society. The State Board of Education needs to get behind Common Core and have summer sessions where students can come to learn, read and broaden their minds. Football and baseball are just idle waste of time.

    • Fiscal Conservative

      I live in a state where commen core was adopted. My fiance teaches in a comments core system. Any seasoned educator hates it. Anyone who believes in pushing students to learn hates it. It is a useless soul crushing set of guidelines that stifle actual independent thought. It is also full of highly inappropriate material, and pushes a political agenda. Why don't we go to a more stringent ABECCA style curriculum that pushes students through competition and self reliance. Also not all of us jocks are old, and sports taught me a lot of very valuable life lessons. It afforded me trips out of this state and all over this country. It also allowed me to have an undergraduate degree without being 40,000 dollars in debt. So in essance come live in the real world and stop holding grudges because you were picked on in high school.

    • jm

      common core. That wonderful thing that turns a basic math such as 32-12 into a 6 step problem yep its great all right.

    • jschmoe


      I agree kids need to be in the books more. However, you are on crack if you think President Kardahsians common core is the solution.

    • Coach J Kelley

      I'm one of the "old jocks" you're taking a shot at and I adamantly opposed the proposal from the beginning. 40 years a dedicated classroom teacher and A COACH , still coaching, I've given much to the betterment of society . I have advanced degrees sir. Let's be careful clumping your bias views into one category. Many of current coaches opposed this proposal and it has nothing to do with $$$ or bettering , it's because we care about kids and families and what is educationally sound. Your apology is accepted ! As to the waste of time comment, ever study ever done has shown that kids involved in athletics have better grades, more knowledge retention, less drop outs, and go on to higher education more often. Please refrain from biased ignorant rants.

      • Wirerowe

        Coach Kelly thank you for your excellent comments. There is no higher calling than coaching in high school for the right reasons. You apparently are one of these.It is much tougher to that now than the old days. Thank you for spending your life coaching, teaching kids and having the proper perspective on this proposal.

      • WV77Steve

        In your support, I know our head football coach was very much against the proposal. Also I can name several young men that would not have stayed in school and graduated had it not been for their involvement in sports. Sports can teach you about working together for a goal much like it is in a real job setting. Thanks for your comments.

      • Daily Mail Editor

        Coach J. Kelley

        Can you please send an email with our contact info to Would like more of your perspective. Thank you.

  • Look at the big picture

    I am sure this is being looked at in many different ways but in my eyes this could be a very positive thing to get more time to practice better the kids chances to compete on the next level which means more education which means better jobs which means better life look at the big picture we may just catch up with the rest of society. Here in WV.

  • Only Comment

    There goes my chance to create my own AAU basketball team (supplement my income) with students-athletes from my own school team. The dismal coaching stipend of $900 for 4 months of work is hardly worth it during the basketball season. I put in well over 300 hours for the season. So, the $3.00 per hour or less is way below the minimum wage standard for the country. I guess the competitive advantage that the summer workouts would have created was not worth it to WVSSAC. Third job here I come.

    • Ron - from Morgantown

      I understand your dilemma about the low wages( 900$) but expanding the practice time in the Summer isn't the solution . We should work on getting you more money for what you do . Money for coaches is the wrong motivation for expanded Summer practice . Do I think you deserve more money ? Yes . Do I think enhanced summer practice is the solution ? No .

    • G

      Only Comment,

      If you are coaching for the money, you are coaching for the wrong reason.

  • Steve

    The problem with the proposal is that it was too vague. They should have included that they have a limit to what they can do in each sport, such as no contact in football. There should also manditory down time as well. The proposal should have been more detailed.

  • Epanhandle

    Good job WV! Keep being mediocre in life and in sports. You continue to prove that you are unable to progress as a state and evolve like the rest of the country. Our student athletes will stay average and there will occasionally be the handful of kids that are fortunate enough to have mommy or daddy pay for them to get exposure. Lets punish the players who can't afford to go to camps or combines over the summer. Lets punish the coaches and schools who want to better their programs and players. It is a shame that this state refuses to keep up with the times in every aspect of life. Education, money, sports, obesity, politics, court systems, and just about every aspect I can think of. The sad thing is as a state we allow a company to go bankrupt after poisoning tons of water in Charleston. We continue to expose young men and women to the coal mines and the dangers it accompanies. We are ranked in some of the worst categories in the nation (obesity, depression, education, etc.) and yet we refuse to do something about it. Sports are a door way to life and I am all about family and education, but it has been proven that Sports benefit both the family and educational needs. It would be smart for our state, one in which we are all very proud to be a part of, to stand up and finally do something right. Instead, we shoot it down and go back to square one. It's a shame, a dag on shame!

    • Kiddkornbred

      Geeeze. If you are in the eastern panhandle. You should go a few miles in any direction and set up camp in a new state you can love and enjoy.

      • Epanhandle

        No the problem is, I love WV! I love the Mountaineers, Marshall, The landscapes, and the outdoors. I don't like that we are not doing our part to better the opportunity for our athletes to be successful and get the exposure they need.

    • Wirerowe

      Our athletes are average because we are a small state and do not have a lot of athletes. We have a hand full of division one players at most every year. Implementing this proposal would not have altered that one bit. Implementing policies that at most benefit a few kids and coaches does not make sense. The reference to coal mines makes even less sense.

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    This a good decision - especially when you consider the concussion issue . Less hitting and less contact is a good thing . The 3 week organized practice time is sufficient . Summer is about family vacations , summer jobs , the pool , and hanging out with friends . Year round football would have changed all that . In some communities its a challenge to get students to play sports even with the current limited calendar .

    • Epanhandle

      This in no way is about year round football, and that's the problem with people like you and others. This would benefit all other sports, it is not just for football. Plus, who would use pads year round anyways; 7 on 7's and camps are beneficial to that sport any ways. Who it hurts are teams like basketball, baseball, soccer, and volley ball. You could have had coaches not mommy and daddy coaching legion teams, summer league teams, and AAU teams.

      • Understand

        Does it benefit other sports? YES. But in all honesty football would be the greatest benefactor in this decision. Most of the better AAU teams have very qualified coaches in basketball, better than the High School coaches that currently coach. Football is the one sport that needs to have coaches present to conduct practices or teach the offense or put in new defenses. WV could be smart and put in place a system like Ohio and just give the schools 21 days to use how they see fit, in their summer coaching. What about golf? Do we really need the golf coach present during the summer, much less during the school year. Its a football proposal palin and simple.

  • WV Grad

    Great call. With proposals of year-round schooling on the board, athletes as well as other kids need at least some unregulated freedom.

    How high a price does sport require--seemingly endless looking at college athletics. Enough!