09/17/14 – Reminder about Importance of Annual Meeting

September 17, 2014 Athletic Department Blog Updates

Love this time of year. School has started, the fields and courts are in use every night, and we get to continuously hear about the great things done by our student-athletes. And again this year, we are privileged to have just completed another circuit around the state holding regional meetings about KHSAA operations, online data management and Title IX.

But now its time to deal with some of the “business issues” surrounding the KHSAA. And a lot of that business is accomplished through the Annual Meeting. Truth be told, other than the championship final events and recognition ceremonies, this event continues to be one of my favorites. Our staff gets to sit down and meet with those people in the trenches at the local schools, and talk about issues facing both groups. Our philosophies and perspectives are different, so too naturally are our opinions.

This two-part article will attempt to first lay the groundwork for the meeting, and then secondarily, it will discuss in a little more detail in the second edition, each of the four proposals to be considered at the KHSAA Annual Meeting on September 29 which have been posted on the KHSAA website (General/Regulations, Annual Meeting, 2014-15, Information on Proposals and Procedural Rules).

The Board of Control is required, per Section 2 of 702 KAR 7:065, to review the rules of the KHSAA and recommend any changes to the membership. As Commissioner, many of these initiatives come from our staff based on year round input from our membership and study, and are thoroughly reviewed by the Board over a series of about six months worth of meetings and discussions. While it would be nice to have the luxury of leaving the rules alone for a length of time, such is simply not possible. And certainly this is not the time for us to fight long and hard to maintain the 1985 status quo. That would certainly not be in everyone’s best interest.

It is very difficult in one or two lines of rationale, to fully describe the hours and days of thought and discussion that goes on among the membership, among the Board of Control and among the staff, before a proposal actually makes it to the agenda. In this year alone, more than a dozen subjects were considered, with the Board choosing to author only two proposals, and the membership submitting two additional proposals. And when the membership considers each proposal, we are hopeful that you are mindful that these proposals must be approved by our membership but then have a long way to go to be implemented, including final approval by the legislature in Frankfort.

The vast majority of the legislature (Kentucky General Assembly), I am sure, would rather deal with the more serious issues they fight every day in Frankfort than to get involve with athletics. Success and achievement in the General Assembly many times turns on compromise, while most in athletics feel there has to be a winner and a loser. These two diverse schools of thought mean that sometimes, everyone won’t agree. Such was the case in the mid-2000s, when the membership of the KHSAA discussed various proposals which would have either 1) segregated its championships based on school types, or 2) controlled the eligibility of high school students based on the type of middle school the student attended. To say that neither of these options were looked upon favorably by the General Assembly members would be a tremendous understatement. While those troubled waters have calmed for now, this started the Association and its member schools down a path wherein everything about the daily operations (including the eligibility rules) continue to be subject to increased scrutiny.

In the next segment, I will share with you background on the four specific proposals on this year’s agenda. In the meantime, be sure and refer to past blogs and emails, or go to the website and click General/Regulations, Annual Meeting, 2014-15 and see the information about this year’s meeting, including the designation of a delegate.