Florida legislators seek changes to high school sports

January 15, 2016 / Athletic Administration
For the fifth consecutive year, Florida lawmakers are moving legislation that would change the way high school sports are governed.

FHSAAThree different bills aimed at high school sports are gaining traction in the House and Senate. Here is a brief summary of what each bill entails:

  • SB 1026: Institutes requirements regarding fees and contest receipts collected by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), disallowing the organization from collecting fees and event revenue that exceeds actual costs. It would also allows schools to join the FHSAA as a full-time member or on a per-sport basis.
  • SB 684: Relaxes eligibility requirements to play high school sports. FloridaPolitics.com reported that some constituents have complained about eligibility problems when switching schools but not moving from their home, and this could give those families more freedom to change schools. This bill also takes aim at illegal recruiting, instituting a $5,000 pay forfeiture, suspension and possible revocation of teaching certificates for those responsible for luring athletes from other schools.
  • HB 31: Shares many similarities with SB 1026. It sets requirements for fees and receipts collected by the FHSAA and allows schools to join on a per-sport basis. It also “prohibits the FHSAA from taking retributory or discriminatory action against specified schools.”

FloridaPolitics.com reports that the FHSAA supports SB 684. These certainly don’t appear to be as threatening to the FHSAA as previous proposals, which would have almost entirely eliminated the organization.

Opponents of the senate proposals were particularly concerned with the provision that doesn’t allow the FHSAA to take revenue that exceeds the costs of operation.

“I just want to make sure we’re not making it so they can’t operate anymore,” Sen. Jeff Clemens told FloridaPolitics.com.

All three proposals remain in committee and could be amended before they ever reach the floor for a vote.

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