Oklahoma House approves OSSAA reform bill

The state House voted 51-38 for bill intended to make Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association more transparent and accountable.
by Nolan Clay Published: February 26, 2014
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photo - The OSSAA oversees extracurricular activities for nearly every public school in Oklahoma for grades seven through 12. Here, Shawnee’s Bailey Taylor, right, drives past Carl Albert’s Lanie Batten-Goodman during a game in Midwest City. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, For The Oklahoman
The OSSAA oversees extracurricular activities for nearly every public school in Oklahoma for grades seven through 12. Here, Shawnee’s Bailey Taylor, right, drives past Carl Albert’s Lanie Batten-Goodman during a game in Midwest City. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, For The Oklahoman

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.


>>Read: Oklahoma legislators want oversight on high school activities association

>>Read: High schools: Legislators want government to oversee eligibility and financial sides of OSSAA


“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.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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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,

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