Obviously, allowing high school football teams in West Virginia to practice nearly all summer would prepare them better for the fall season. But is that the only thing state Board of Education members should be considering?
State rules currently limit high school athletics practices during the summer. Football is the primary sport affected.
Some coaches have said the limits put their teams at a disadvantage against squads from surrounding states that can practice more during the summer. Again, that is obvious.
Members of the Secondary School Activities Commission's Board of Control have approved a change in the rules. It would permit summer practices except for the week including the Independence Day holiday.
For the change to go into effect, it would have to be approved by the state Board of Education.
Pros and cons of the idea can - and no doubt will - be debated at length. Some proponents argue that even with the latitude to schedule practices during most of the summer, many coaches will refrain from doing so. They, too, enjoy time off in June and July.
Of course, that begs the question. And unless we are sadly mistaken, many coaches will use all the days permitted. That may cost school districts more, for the obvious reason that coaches will want more money for more days of work.
What about the kids? What about student-athletes who have to work during the summer? What about those whose families have scheduled vacations? What about others who want to attend special events, perhaps academic camps and other programs, during the summer?
And how will all-summer practices affect student-athletes academically? Finally, shouldn't the kids have a few weeks off?
Is winning everything? Or can football build character just was well by showing teenagers how to be the best they can with limited summer practices? State board members should ask themselves those questions before deciding whether to approve the SSAC plan.