Broncoes QB influences Virginia bill to expand opportunities for homeschooled students

 

After passing a bill allowing homeschooled students to play varsity sports in public high schools, a Virginia legislator promptly celebrated in Tim Tebow fashion, dropping to one knee on the floor of the Virginia House of delegates and performing the now-famous Tebowing ritual.  

House Bill 947, nicknamed the “Tim Tebow bill,” would allow homeschooled students to play on varsity sports teams at public high schools. It cleared the Virginia House of delegates on Wednesday. The legislation has been nicknamed the Tim Tebow bill after the Denver Broncos quarterback who was homeschooled in Florida, one of 22 states that give homeschooled students some form of access to public school classes or sports teams, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Tebow, who is known for kneeling and praying during football games, has voiced support for so-called “equal access” measures in other states. The New York Times reports that Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee are also expected to debate versions of the “Tebow bill” this year

The measure has reportedly proved controversial in Virginia this year. Public school teachers and other local education officials, including school superintendents, have opposed the legislation for a variety of reasons, including fears that coaches will recruit homeschooled students to increase their chances of success on the field. Others contend that homeschooled students will take roster spots from public school students who should have the first right to play on the teams of their choice.

Supporters, including bill sponsor Delegate Robert Bell, believe they may have a better chance of passing legislation this year in part because of the popularity of the measure’s namesake who became the first homeschooled football player ever to win the Heisman Trophy. After the House of Delegates approved the bill, Bell says he “did the Tebow on the floor."