The Collier County Public School System unveiled new rules Monday to crack down on over-age students playing sports. The move comes after several adults played soccer and football at Immokalee High School. Before Collier public school athletes take the field this year, they must be able to prove their age with an original birth certificate or an official copy issued by an authorized agency. If they don’t have one, they don’t get to play. State athletic bylaws permit foreign students to use a passport or official immigration card. Barron-Collier High School activity coordinator Joe Kemper says the district promises a good-faith effort to verify everyone.
“We want to make sure that we’re looking at the dates correctly and that we’re looking at authentic records. So to the best of our ability we’re going to ascertain the proper age of every child that represents our schools athletically.”
One Immokalee High School soccer player was 30 years old last year and another was 23. The school has since has had several district sports titles taken away and the principal received a reprimand.
With just weeks until school starts, the Collier County school system released new guidelines Monday to prevent over-age students from playing sports. The district sent a letter to all high school athletes – requiring them to provide an original birth certificate or an official copy. If they don’t have one, they can’t take the field. The crackdown comes after several Immokalee High soccer and football players lied about their ages. Barron-Collier High School activity coordinator Joe Kemper says the new rules apply to everyone.
“In the past, I think some of the athletic departments have accepted copies of birth certificates. In order to stay in strict compliance with the letter of the law we’re now going to require a review of an original birth certificate or an authorized copy.”
Kemper says the district will use guidance office counselors to help translate foreign documents. He says administrators promise a good-faith effort to verify all student-athletes.
Tuesday, 01 August 2006 01:00
High School Sports AgeWritten by WGCU Newsroom