Retired coach Ray Goldsby is used to walking up to state high school events and showing his complimentary pass and being let in.
Goldsby, who coached football at Noble, Edmond Memorial and Moore, will no longer get that option this year.
Effective July 1, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association's new pass policy requires some retired coaches and officials who had been give free admission to pay $20 a season pass.
"I just feel like it's a slap in the face," Goldsby said. "It's not about the $20. The money is not the issue. It's about the principle.
"For coaches like myself, we've been in the business 20-40 years, and after all the years of service, this has been the only perk we've had. To take it away is ridiculous."
Previously, the OSSAA issued free passes to retired school administrators, athletic directors, coaches with 20 years of service and Okahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame members.
OSSAA executive secretary Ed Sheakley said this was the best suggestion after having area meetings with superintendents last October to try to increase revenue and not have to make any major changes because of the economy.
"What we concluded is that we didn't want to raise ticket prices to the state events. We have some of the lowest ticket prices in the country and didn't want to change," Sheakley said. "We also didn't want to take away any (passes) from the member schools."
Based on basketball classifications, there are six passes for Class B school administrators and that number goes up to 12 for 6A schools.
Administrators and coaches may purchase a pass for their spouse for $10. Each of Oklahoma's 149 state legislators is eligible to receive two complimentary passes.
Sheakley said the change has nothing to do with the respect, or lack thereof, of what coaches like Goldsby have meant to the Oklahoma high school scene.
"We honor them, and we appreciate what they've done for all these years," Sheakley said.
Sheakley said the OSSAA issued more than 28,000 free passes last season. And he said 20-30 percent of the OSSAA's revenue comes from the gate at the state events.
The OSSAA also paid more than $200,000 in legal fees this last year and processed 1,000 hardship waivers last year and 148 cases went to the board.
To try to combat that, starting this year, the OSSAA is charging $100 for any student's family that wants to appeal a hardship ruling before the board.
Goldsby said he appreciated Sheakley communicating with him about the policy but remains unhappy about the terms.
"We just want a level playing field for everybody," Goldsby said. "If we had to request a pass and used that type of system, that would be just fine."
Goldsby said as of now, he does not plan on purchasing a pass.