The Oklahoma House has narrowly passed a bill that supporters say will force the association that oversees high school athletics to be more transparent and accountable.
The House approved the reform bill 51-38 on Wednesday.
“I urge you — for the kids of Oklahoma, for the parents of Oklahoma — to vote ‘yes’ on this bill,” said its author, state Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville.
Opponents called the bill both unnecessary and improper government intrusion upon a private organization.
“I am not for growing government control. I am not for expanding government control,” said Rep. Jerry McPeak, D-Warner.
House Bill 2730 now moves to the state Senate.
The passage of the bill was the latest blow to the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.
The association had fought for defeat of the bill, urging school administrators to call their state representatives immediately. The association contends it should make any reforms on its own.
Last fall, coaches and parents complained during legislative hearings about the association’s decisions.
Also, in October, the state Supreme Court slammed the OSSAA for arbitrary and capricious actions against a football team.
“This Court has permitted the OSSAA, in the guise of a voluntary association, to govern the affairs of secondary school athletics in Oklahoma with near impunity. No more,” Justice Yvonne Kauger wrote for the majority in the 40-page opinion.
This Court has permitted the OSSAA, in the guise of a voluntary association, to govern the affairs of secondary school athletics in Oklahoma with near impunity. No more.”
Justice Yvonne Kauger,