High School Athletics Board Under Fire

Under pending legislation, students could play where they want, when they want, if they can make the team. State Senator Kelly Stargel says her bill eliminates what has been called the “follow the coach” rule.

"The FHSA has continued to buck against what we're saying in the world of legislature. We don't want you to look at the movement of kids as bonafide evidence of recruiting," said Sen. Stargel.

One highly publicized case found that parents of three athletes in Stargel’s hometown falsified records so their kids can play at another school.

"This is not addressing that issue at all," said Stargel.

Before becoming a principle at this Tallahassee High School, Billy Epting coached basketball for six years. He wants kids who move legitimately to be able to play, but he says the legislation could create problems.

"I think it has a potential to open up opportunity for increased recruiting of athletes by coaches, but also the opportunity for parents and athletes to begin coach shopping themselves," said Epting.

Right now parents and students who don't like the ruling from the Activities Association can appeal, but it's to a committee within the association. This legislation would change that.

John Moyle is pushing the change. He wants administrative law judges to make the final decisions.

"They act as the judge and a jury, the investigator they got everything in-house," said Moyle.

Lawmakers would also force the Activities Association to create more scholarships, limit when it can investigate, and add more governmental appointees to the board.

Lobbyist told Mike the changes amount to death by a thousand paper cuts for the association.


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