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CBFO commissioner speaks out

As commissioner of CBFO I am writing a response to the letter that questioned a situation in a public forum. I wanted to make sure there was a reassurance of where CBFO stands in regards to the questioning of how we run our program.

To the situation regarding the Webb player who joined a group last year, I was not a part of that decision but I was part of a vote and decision to no longer allow a private or middle school player to play rec league in Knox County to prevent that situation in the future to be fair to all teams.

In regards to the 13-year-old team this year. CBFO has always given early sign-ups and the opportunity of choice for parents and kids to choose the prior year coach or to choose to try another coach. In regards to the 13-year-old group, both teams from prior years had all their players signed up by the deadline with PARENT request of coaches given precedence. So I want to reiterate this is not coaches looking to recruit, but parents wanting their kids to play for a coach they are comfortable with as is their child. Two 13-year-old teams filled up, all sign-ups thereafter was a precedence because never had CBFO had enough for three 13-year-old teams. The County has division based on size of an area and experience. There is an A division or XFL for the most experienced players and largest organizations, a B division, which is near the A division but not quite as intense but in some cases there is, there are C level teams when you have inexperienced players or you live in a smaller area that does not have the luxury of the numbers CBFO has given. We have always put all kids first.

This particular situation came down to a larger demand of 13 year olds to play than normal. The third team was created to give these kids an opportunity to play. This was even explained in a meeting I had with all the parents and asked one of them to coach, which a great coach stepped up for this group.

The unfortunate thing is given many organizations do not have the size of the Farragut area, the County put the best possible teams it could in the lower division, it is just impossible to find a number of 13 year olds who have 80 percent never played.

The fact is that CBFO has always tried to place kids in the best possible position to get playing time and opportunity for kids. In fact, instead of putting 5-6 kids in a bad situation, instead of keeping the fees and sticking them on a team, I sent them to another local organization where they would have better opportunity to play. Those kids are thriving. It has never been about money for CBFO. The effort was made to find other situations with the group in question and the decision was made to see to it they played.

My own team is a testament to what I believe. I had 20-out-of-22 kids return, one kid just did not like football and another requested me but ended up moving to Halls. I had eight more request my team, who had heard that I play everyone no matter how big or talented. I have more kids than any other team in CBFO and not one playing time complaint. Our record is about .500 because EVERYONE plays and has a chance to make mistakes and learn. At 12 years old, I have 60-pound kids trying their best against 130-pound kids. I could play my best 13 like a lot of situations, but I and my staff believe in a chance for every kid to excel in the right situation.

That is what I want most for CBFO, to just let kids play a great game. The situation with the third 13-year-old team is not what we ever envision but it was simple to see to it that every kid gets a chance to play and learn, and to have the opportunity. CBFO will always give an opportunity and every situation is not a fit, but we will do our best to find that fit and give kids the best chance to play and succeed we can possibly give. Everyone will not always be pleased in what I may choose or this organization may do, but I can say that CBFO will ALWAYS stand for doing everything in its power to make a great opportunity for all kids who want to play.

Brad Burkett

CBFO Commissioner

Woodson addresses wireless service

As a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, I know how important reliable wireless service is to our state. If your car breaks down on a back road, a cell phone may be your only way to get help.

Law enforcement, emergency personnel and everyday citizens depend on quality coverage to deal with safety issues such as natural disasters, auto accidents, and domestic violence. Thats why a recent proposal before the Federal Communications Commission has implications for rural Tennessee.

Wireless carriers cannot always justify the costs of building new cell towers in smaller communities. However, a federal Universal Service Fund program helps build reliable communications networks in rural areas.

The funds wireless portion was capped earlier this year, and now cuts are proposed that could eliminate 75 percent of the support we now receive in Tennessee. Statewide, we could lose up to $3.3 million in annual USF support. If dozens of new cell sites are cancelled or delayed each year, public safety could be threatened.

Wireless coverage is increasing nationally, but more work must be done in Tennessee to bring reliable cell phone networks to rural areas. This important program and its broad based impact should be examined very closely before any funds are reduced. People interested in the issue may visit to learn more.

Jamie Woodson

State Senator

District 6


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