Two state legislators announced intentions to ask for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association to open its financial records and to explain its denial of two Oklahoma City football teams wishing to become independent of the association.
Rep. Richard Morrissette (D-OKC) and Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R- Slaughterville) released a statement detailing concerns about the association's financial transparency.
“An organization such as the OSSAA that dramatically impacts the lives of our student-athletes must be both transparent and accountable. Public scrutiny is essential.” Morrissette said.
The release stated that Cleveland requested and was denied a financial report from the OSSAA on Wednesday during its board meeting. The OSSAA denied withholding its financial records.
“OSSAA has not received, and therefore has not refused, any request for any financial records from these state legislators,” said the statement from OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley. “(On Wednesday) during the course of the scheduled public meeting of OSSAA's Board of Directors, a man asked an OSSAA staff member for a copy of the minutes of the proceedings. As the meeting was still ongoing, no minutes of the meeting had yet been prepared.
“The man did not identify himself to OSSAA's staff member, nor say why he wanted to obtain a copy of minutes for that meeting.”
The legislators also are seeking an explanation for the OSSAA board of directors voting against U.S. Grant and Capitol Hill football teams' request for independence at Wednesday's meeting.
“The OSSAA has ruled against the two schools dropping out of participation, citing reasons that compel us to dig deeper into their role and reasoning for such action,” Morrissette said.
The OSSAA press release explained that U.S. Grant and Capitol Hill were not asking to drop out of participation.
“Contrary to what is indicated in the press release from Representatives Morrissette and Cleveland, these high schools did not ask ‘to depart from the organization,'” the statement said.
The schools were instead asking for an exception to the OSSAA rule that prevents a school from becoming independent from the association in an individual sport.