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UIL Rejects Proposed Ban on Freshmen Playing Varsity Sports

Should UIL add a 7A

When the UIL Standing Committee on Athletics released its agenda for the June 14 UIL Legislative Council meeting, one proposal, in particular, caught the public’s eye.

A submission from the public suggested a ban on freshmen playing varsity sports. However, the viability of this proposal was always in doubt since any individual from the public can submit a proposal for the committee to consider.

And just as most people predicted, the UIL quickly dismissed the proposal at its Tuesday meeting.

Although the UIL officially either “denied, rejected, or took no action,” on the proposed ban of freshmen athletes playing on varsity, the chairman of the UIL Standing Committee of Athletics Greg Poole made clear that the committee was opposed to the proposed ban.

Smaller schools will breathe a sigh of relief at this ruling from the UIL today. Some schools rely on freshmen just to have enough numbers to field a team, especially at the 1A-4A levels. Dell City, which only has an enrollment of 14 students, fielded a football team at the six-man level for the first time in three years this past fall due to its strong freshmen class.

And even at the 5A and 6A level, some freshmen are still talented enough to have an impact. Freshman Kaleb Bailey (928 passing yards, 783 rushing yards, and 19 total touchdowns in 2021) helped lead North Shore to the 6A Division I State Title in 2021.

Kaleb Bailey accepts the Offensive MVP trophy after leading North Shore to the 2021 6A Division I State Championship. (Credit: Stan Martin)

With the UIL continuing to allow freshmen to compete on varsity as most expected they would, teams can carry on preparing for the 2022 season which is now just 10 weeks away.


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