Debate rages over after-school or in-school athletics

Monday, August 7th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- How best to serve the education of student-athletes is a debate raging in Oklahoma -- even at the state Capitol.

A bill that would have mandated after-school athletics at all Oklahoma schools won the support of Governor Keating -- but not his signature. It never made it to his desk.

Midwest City-Del City superintendent Cheryl Steele is among those who support after-school athletics. Supporters of the after-school philosophy say the extra classroom time gives student-athletes more academic opportunities. But those who believe athletic activities should occur during school hours say the athletes learn lessons about teamwork and responsibility.

They say some students remain in school only because of athletic participation and that such participation allows many to attend college.

Many of those taking part in the debate say that regardless of what district's decide -- the issue should be left to local school officials, not the state, to decide.