MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) A bill making its way through the Alabama State Legislature would allow students who are home-schooled to participate in public school athletics.
SB 186, known as the "Tim Tebow Act", passed the Alabama Senate Education Committee Wednesday, and is headed to the senate floor. The bill would still have to pass both houses and get the signature of Governor Robert Bentley for it become law.
A standing law in Florida allowed New York Jets Quarterback Tim Tebow to play high school football while he was home-schooled, launching his football career.
17-year-old golfer Dawson Mounse, a home-schooled athlete, said the current Alabama laws don't allow him to take his other passion to the next level.
"I started playing baseball when I was eleven," Mounse said. "Baseball is one of those sports you have to go to high school to get recognized, and I didn't really want to go to high school and I liked home-schooling."
While Mounse said he has played golf since he could walk, he said he played Westside Baseball for years too. Mounse said he can throw an 80 mile-per-hour fastball.
Mounse said he could pursue baseball scholarships if he could pitch at the high school level.
"If that was cool I would do it," Mounse said.
State Senator Vivian Figures (D-Mobile), a member of the senate education committee, said bills similar to the Tim Tebow Act have failed in committee at least four times before.
Figures, who voted against moving the bill to the senate floor, said the bill would give an unfair advantage to home-schoolers for several reasons.
"The home-school child could have an unlimited number of hours to practice a certain sport," Figures said. "When you play sports at public schools you have to have a certain grade point average. Well, the home-school children are home-schooled by their parents so they will give them the grade they think they deserve."
Dawson's mother, Terina Mounse, said she does not buy those arguments.
"They're required to meet so many hours and so many days of work as well," Mounse said. "We grade just the same. They have tests they have to do."
If not for him, Dawson Mounse hopes his friends can take their game to the next level in the future.
"That would be great not only for me but for kids coming up," Mounse said.