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'Let 'em practice': Parents fear practice restrictions will hurt student athletes

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

'Let 'em practice': Parents fear practice restrictions will hurt student athletes

By Marcelino Benito. CREATED Nov 14, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - TUSD parents are upset about practice. They say district practice restrictions over winter break are unfair to the kids.

"It's going to hurt them," said John Lane.

Lane's son plays basketball at Sahuaro. He's collected over 133 signatures from parents who want TUSD to let them practice when they want to and how long they want to.

"I know coaches are frustrated," said Lane. "They can't speak out about it."

But the district disagrees. They say six to eight days is plenty of time to get ready for next half of season. In a statement, a TUSD spokeswoman said, the schedule has been reviewed and approved by the Interscholastic department and is deemed appropriate.

"They're not thinking about kids and that's what it's about," said Lane.

Lane says it's about giving basketball, soccer, wrestling teams and even cheerleaders the chance to compete. They don't want to be sitting at home while their opponents are in the gym.

"Catalina Foothills school district, Salpointe, you think they're not practicing?" said Lane. "They're hungry. They want to win a state championship, and so do we."

If coaches schedule more practices, they could face discipline from district leadership. You can find the link to the petition here. TUSD's complete statement is below.

TUSD has scheduled multiple practice periods during the winter break when district facilities will be closed to allow our employees to enjoy the time off with their families and friends

The winter break period (Dec. 20-Jan. 5) provides for eight days of practice, including six days when the district is on recess. The four-hour blocks of time provide ample opportunity for two-hour practices, which are the norm for school sports

The schedule has been reviewed and approved by the Interscholastic Department and is deemed appropriate for ensuring our student athletes continue to practice and stay conditioned during this time frame.

The decision to provide a structured schedule of practice times allows for utilities savings in facilities during a period of light use when schools are on recess

Student athletes will have the chance to practice in an amount of time comparable to that when school is in session.