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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, Modified: August 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm •  Published: August 11, 2010

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.

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