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Local & Regional

Calls for a Review of the Schools Activity Association


It is called the OSSAA. While that is a mouthful, it is much shorter than its official title; The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association. The association supervises the extra-curricular activities of Oklahoma’s secondary schools. It is coming under increasing criticism for what some call a lack of transparency. Here is State Representative Jason Murphy:

MURPHY: “Historically, one of the areas where transparency has been very challenging has been pseudo government agencies have been responsible for the funding, in this case sports, but open records/open meetings regulations do not apply.”

The OSSAA does more than just over see school sports. It supervises band, speech tournaments and the like. State Representative Bobby Cleveland of Slaughterville is among those calling for a legislative interim committee to review the OSSAA.

CLEVELAND:I have had a number of people that have had a problem with the OSSAA. From the lack of oversight. This is from Parents, teachers, superintendents. The OSSAA seems to be doing very well financially, while our schools are struggling. When you use tax payers dollars, citizens deserve open, honest and transparency."

The problems extend outside of the legislative. Former Cherokee Chief Chad Smith is among the OSSAA critics. He says it enforces rules that have not been made public. He says that is what happened to the Sequoyah High School that was forced to sit out a championship game after the OSSAA declared the team ineligible.

SMITH: “This was based on policies that were not disclosed to the general public. Lo and behold, three-quarters of the alleged violation occurred before the rulings were ever enacted.”

Our attempt to contact the OSSAA was not fruitful. An answering machine answered the phone and said the office would be closed until July. There was not a place to leave a message.