OSSAA ends free event passes for retired coaches, officials

Executive Secretary Ed Sheakley says association didn't want to raise ticket prices to state events or take away passes from member schools.
By ROBERT PRZYBYLO, Staff Writer, bprzybylo@opubco.com Modified: August 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm •  Published: August 11, 2010

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.

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