Interim study examining high school extracurricular activities in Oklahoma begins

The first of three interim study meetings looking into the organization that oversees extracurricular activities in Oklahoma's high schools began Tuesday. Coaches and parents alike expressed concerns about conduct at the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.
by Graham Lee Brewer Modified: September 17, 2013 at 7:50 pm •  Published: September 18, 2013

Former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer complained that his homeschooled grandchildren are prohibited from participating in public school sports programs.

Lynn Martin, a reporter and photographer with the Alva Review-Courier, testified he was not allowed to photograph basketball players accepting their trophies at an award ceremony because this privilege had been given to a photo studio that had paid for the right.

Coaches said athletic eligibility rules were selectively enforced.

These were among the grievances leveled Tuesday by people attending a hearing on the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.

The nonprofit organization oversees most Oklahoma public school athletics, establishing districts and determining player eligibility. It gets most of its $5 million annual budget from gate revenues generated at school playoff games.

Ed Sheakley, the association's executive director, did not testify Tuesday, but at a break in the meeting said his organization is focused on the children in Oklahoma who participate in extracurricular activities.

“My passion is for kids, and so is my staff, and so is my organization,” Sheakley said.

Switzer said during a break in the hearing that the organization lacks oversight.

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by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch he went on to cover the Oklahoma Senate for eCapitol before joining the...
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