ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — Over the last decade, a little more than half of the country has adopted the “Tim Tebow rule,” a policy named after the former Heisman Trophy winner that allows a homeschooled students to play sports in the school district they live in.
However, a homeschooled teenager in southeast Alabama has found out that he doesn’t meet that criteria.
Jacob Barbaccia and his dad, John, can often be found playing music at various establishments in Enterprise and the surrounding area. He is homeschooled, but is also a member of the 270-member “Big Blue” marching band at Enterprise High School, along with the school’s jazz ensemble, and several other musical groups associated with EHS.
However, Jacob was recently told he could not participate unless he enrolled at the high school. Jacob and John thought the “Tim Tebow Rule” allowed him to participate. However, the rule only allows athletes to take part in school sports, in the school in which the family is districted.
“It’s truly unfair since football can be home, schooled, and do football, but band kids can’t be homeschooled and do band,” Jacob said. “And they are pushing it so I would have to enroll in school to take band class, which is a class I truly love.”
“Jacob is a motivator, a lot of the kids look up to him,” John Barbaccia said. “He’s a 4.0 student whether here or when he was in school.”
Enterprise High School Athletic Director Trent Trawick said the rule is pretty clear: it allows homeschoolers the opportunity to only participate in sports.
“The Alabama Athletic High School Association only governs sports,” Trawick said. “So the athletic association doesn’t get involved in any other activity.”
In last Friday night’s football game at the Wildcat Stadium, Jacob performed a guitar solo at halftime, which earned a scholarship offer from Troy University.