AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas senators have voted to allow private
schools to play in the University Interscholastic League with two
big exceptions - football and basketball.
The Senate removed football and basketball to eliminate worries
that private schools would be recruiting athletes for those two
high-profile sports. Private schools would still be allowed to
participate in other sports such as baseball, volleyball and soccer
and UIL academic competitions.
Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston has pushed for years to allow
private schools to join the Texas public school league. The bill
passed Friday would phase in private schools over five years, with
the smallest schools joining first.
Two large private schools, Houston Strake Jesuit and Dallas
Jesuit are already allowed to participate in the UIL.
The bill now goes to the House for consideration.