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High schools: Government committee to review practices of OSSAA

Two state representatives have requested an interim study to investigate some of the practices and procedures used by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.
by Scott Wright Published: May 20, 2013

Cleveland has asked that the study be assigned to the house government modernization committee, which specializes to enact openness and transparency laws.

“This is something that naturally found a home in the government modernization venue, where we look at transparency of government process,” said the committee's chairman, Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie. “Historically, one of those areas where transparency has been very challenging has been pseudo-government entities, where government entities are mostly responsible for the funding and where that entity has a great role in regulating what is, in fact, a public entity activity — in this case, sports — but the open meetings and open records law do not necessarily pertain.”

Cleveland has also requested Governor Mary Fallin and Attorney General Scott Pruitt to review the matter.

OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley pointed out that the OSSAA executes the rules voted on by its member schools, which join the association on a volunteer basis. The OSSAA cannot create or change rules without the schools voting on, and approving them, first.

“We're a volunteer organization, and our membership makes up our rules,” Sheakley said. “There are ways to change things through the democratic process we have. Any time you're a rule-enforcing organization, when members break rules and you have to impose sanctions, people will be unhappy.

“If our membership doesn't like the rules, they have a process to change them.”

by Scott Wright
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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