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Idaho Legislature Introduces Bill To Overrule IHSAA
Should politicians oversee Idaho high school sports? This bill would give them final say
Published: 4/16/2021 12:39:29 PM

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(IdahoSports.com's official position is this: More government is never the answer.
This bill is extremely short-sighted and not in the best interest of Idaho's schools or student-athletes. It is a knee-jerk reaction to decisions made during an unprecedented school year that will have negative consequences far beyond the alleged reasons this bill was written.)

 

Written by Michael Lycklama, IdahoStatesman.com

A Republican state legislator wants to strip the Idaho High School Activities Association of its power as the top authority over the state’s high school sports and activities.

A proposed bill from Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, would establish a new review board to oversee the state activities association. That three-member board would have the power to overturn or modify IHSAA rules and decisions with a majority vote.

The review board would include two appointed state legislators — one each from the House and Senate, as well as one member of the IHSAA. It would rule on complaints from parents, students, coaches, teachers or school administrators who oppose a final ruling from the IHSAA.

The proposed bill would also bar Idaho’s public and charter schools from allowing the IHSAA to oversee their sports and activities if it doesn’t agree to the review board.

Crane and Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, presented the review board to the IHSAA and asked it to voluntarily agree to it. The IHSAA’s board of directors declined last week.

“I think they honestly feel it’s a legislative overreach,” IHSAA Executive Director Ty Jones said. “We already have an appeals process in place. You usually get up to two appeals, and we feel pretty comfortable with the way it’s set up.

“Our board is made up of every region in the state representing many different activity groups. It didn’t seem smart to them, or prudent, to have three people overrule a 15-person appeals board.”

Crane introduced his bill in the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday. It has yet to receive a public hearing.

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