JV Athletes Back in the Game at CPS

CPS spokeswoman cautions "no final decision" has been made

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Tuesday, Aug 3, 2010  |  Updated 8:42 AM CDT
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Chicago's Reality Connection

Sun-Times

Bruce Zayas, No. 5, was captain of Simeon’s volleyball team and working toward a college scholarship. He says he was forced off the team.

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Non-varsity athletes attending Chicago Public Schools can suit up this school year.

After issuing an alert to the contrary earlier this year, the cash strapped district notified schools it will bring back sophomore and junior varsity sports to normal levels, according to the Sun-Times. CPS, which is facing a $700 million budget gap, eliminated spring sophomore programs in March to save money.

Monique Bond, CPS spokeswoman, cautioned that "no final decision" has been made, but at least one principal and a pair of coaches confirmed that underclassmen will have a chance to suit up.

Whitney Young Magnet H.S. basketball coach Tyrone Slaughter described the news as bringing him "tremendous joy."

"There were certainly instances where kids decided to go to Catholic schools instead of CPS schools," Slaughter said to the paper.

Simeon Career Academy basketball coach Robert Smith, who helped shape Derrick Rose into the Bulls star point guard, said sports keeps kids off the streets.

"With what is going on in ...Chicago now, I'm happy they did whatever they had to do to find the money to keep it going," said Smith.

"This should never happen again," Young Magnet H.S. principal Dr. Joyce Kenner said. "This had a huge impact on some premier-level athletes."

The student-athletes can reunite with their coaches at practices starting Aug. 11.

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