Oppose HB 1403/ SB 1704 regarding high school athletics
BACKGROUND: A proposal opposed by the majority of middle and high school principals, athletic directors and coaches in Florida– whether in the nonpublic or public sectors — is scheduled to be taken up by the Florida Senate during its session this Wednesday, March 7.
HB 1403 will likely be considered by the Florida Senate under the special order calendar. The House proposal as amended last week includes language to open up the possibility for separate public and private associations to govern high school athletics. At present, the 36 Catholic high schools in Florida and the thousands of student athletes served are active members in the nationally renowned Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA).
The bill also includes a troubling provision to allow mid-school-year transfers between public and nonpublic schools and thus opens up the possibility of “gaming the system.” In other words, athletes could switch schools and sports played throughout high school careers without regard for the potential disruptive impact to campus communities.
ACTION: Click the link below to email your Senator and urge the defeat of HB 1403/ SB 1704. A separate governing organization for high school athletics is not needed in statute. Nonpublic schools enjoy the benefits of FHSAA membership and maintain a reasonable level of representation in the FHSAA Board of Directors.
If you would like to call your Senator, click here to locate his or her Tallahassee office phone number.
MESSAGE: Please defeat HB 1403/ SB 1704 which would undermine high schools as well as the FHSAA itself. Independent athletic associations already exist and do not need special authorization under the Florida Statutes. The FHSAA has a Representative Assembly and a Board of Directors to consider changes if any to the eligibility and transfer process, anti-recruitment measures, etc. The bill is a well intentioned but unnecessary effort that will cause more harm than good as it seeks to addresses eligibility and illegal recruiting issues.
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