New video says HS football is at risk

Austin KXAN - Erin Cargile
October 11, 2012

 

It is a Texas tradition in just about every town big or small.

Thursday, a new website popped up claiming high school football is in jeopardy.

A video takes front and center on the site with plenty of footage of football of players suited up, and includes interview clips from two actors who star in the TV seriesFriday Night Lights.

The liberal Progress Texas Political Action Committee is behind it. 

"We're always going to play football if we have to play it in a sand lot," said Progress Texas PAC Director Glenn Smith. "The question is will it be at the level it's been in the past. And if they proceed with these radical education ideas, it won't be the same."

The video criticizes the new Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Republican Dan Patrick, claiming he and other politicians are putting school sports at risk with recent talk about private school vouchers, online schools and charter schools. 

"I am always amazed by liberal groups who come out against legislation that hasn't even been written," Sen. Patrick said in a statement emailed to KXAN News. "This video is too ridiculous to merit a serious response."

Pflugerville ISD Athletic Director Dwayne Weirich does not deny budget cuts have already had an impact.

"It's forced us to tighten our belts, but like other school districts that's what we've done and we've continued to produce what we feel are outstanding competitive teams," said Weirich.

The athletic director said there are too many advantages to school sports off the field, such as higher attendance and better grades, to let a longtime tradition like Friday night lights burn out.

"I can't predict the future, but I would have a hard time believing that to be the case," said Weirich.

But Profess Texas is not backing down. They will continue to tackle the issues through the legislation session. 

"We're going to keep banging the school band drum on this," said Smith.

Click here to watch the 'Save Texas Football' video.

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