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NCHSAA Close to Elimination by State Lawmakers

July 22, 2021 / Athletic Administration
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) is very close to dissolving thanks to state lawmakers, who would, in turn, create a new commission to administer high school athletics in the state.

The news comes on the heels of the Senate Education committee voting on Wednesday in favor of House Bill 91, which would eliminate the state high school governing body by the fall of 2022, according to various reports.

nchsaaIf the bill becomes law, the new commission would be housed in the state Department of Administration. Currently, the NCHSAA is a private, nonprofit organization.

According to a report from HighSchoolOT.com, the 17-person committee would consist of nine members appointed by the governor, four members appointed by the Senate, and four members appointed by the House. Those members would be selected among superintendents, principals, athletic directors, or coaches who are full-time school employees.

HighSchoolOT.com would go on to add that the bill would restrict the commission on the following issues:

  • Soliciting grant funding and sponsorships for purposes other than state tournaments
  • Providing grants to schools
  • Providing scholarships to players
  • Retaining gate receipts other than from the state tournament
  • Controlling the intellectual property of schools, such as logos and mascots, and audio and visual rights to games
  • Delegating its statutory duties to a director

Proponents of the bill, like Sen. Todd Johnson, say the NCHSAA has more assets than any other state sports body in the country, yet described the organization as a broken system that’s unaccountable to students, parents, or state lawmakers.

Opposers of the bill, like NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker, say the organization is being mischaracterized.

“You’re saying that we’re broken. You’re saying that we, the 427 member schools, can’t manage – and our operations can’t manage – sports in this state, and so, now, we need you, as politicians, to tell us how to do sports,” Tucker said.

In her regular column, National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) executive director Dr. Karissa Niehoff addressed the ongoing saga in the Tar Heel State. Below is an excerpt from the column.

“The NCHSAA has been one of the most respected associations in the NFHS for many years – developing programs with sustainability to ensure that participation opportunities remain available for generations of students to come,” Niehoff wrote. “We believe that a state government commission empowered to run education-based sports would have different and less educationally sound motives. For the benefit of the 200,000 participants in high school sports in North Carolina, we believe the NCHSAA and its Board of Directors are best served for directing these vital programs for high school student-athletes.”

To read the full story from HighSchoolOT.com on North Carolina lawmakers looking to dissolve the NCHSAA, click here