Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may control FHSAA appointments

April 4, 2023 / Athletic Administration
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may be one step closer to being in charge of appointments to the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA).

House Bill 225 was passed by the House and has been sent to the Senate floor. Delaware is the only other that allows its governor the same power Florida is looking for.

governorA recent story from FloridaPolitics.com detailed the Florida bill and what it entails.

Below is an excerpt from the FloridaPolitics.com story.

FHSAA’s Executive Director appeared before the committee and warned about the bill’s unintended consequences and urged the committee to vote it down. One of the bill’s provisions would make it so that a student can attend one school and play on the team of another, he said.

“Think about your son or daughter or your grandson or granddaughter who’s attending a school, and because a kid that comes from another school that doesn’t attend that school has taken up a roster spot, your son or daughter could get cut from a team by someone that doesn’t even attend that school,” Craig Damon said, invoking his history as a high school athletics coach.

The FHSAA, a private, nonprofit organization that oversees sports for grades 6-12, recently made headlines. The group proposed mandating female athletes answer form questions regarding their menstrual history. The group pulled that plan after backlash, however.

The similar House bill (HB 225) was drafted before that controversy erupted, said Rep. Fred Hawkins, the bill’s sponsor. Collins was not questioned on this controversy Thursday, however.

Under both Hawkins’ bill and Collins’, the board would shrink from its current 16 members to nine. Members would all be directly appointed by the Governor, except for the Education Commissioner, who gets a spot via the Governor-appointed state Board of Education.

Another Senate bill (SB 190) related to athletics and deemed “similar” legislation, would extend to charter school students the same provisions now offered to students who are homeschooled, as this bill does.

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Both bills enable charter school students to play for willing private schools rather than the public school to which they’d otherwise be assigned. That bill, which Sen. Erin Grall introduced, received unanimous support from the Senate floor and has been sent to the House.

Grall’s bill does not touch on FHSAA governance and board makeup, however.

To read the full story from FloridaPolitics.com, click here.