tampabay.com

Amendment calls for FHSAA tweaks

Adjusting the current governing body may keep private and public schools under one rule.

By DAVID MURPHY
Published May 3, 2007


One day after the Senate approved a last-minute bill calling for the creation of a separate governing body for private high school sports, the future of the Florida High School Athletic Association remains unclear.

Rep. Joe Pickens filed an amendment Wednesday evening that would keep both public and private schools in the FHSAA while tweaking the organization's governing structure. The new amendment also would create separate playoffs for public and private schools.

As of Wednesday night, the measure had not been approved.

On Tuesday, the Senate surprised athletic administrators around the state by approving a last-minute amendment to a popular steroid bill that would create a separate governing body for private schools known as the Florida Private High School Association.

The amendments have drawn heavy criticism from administrators around the state, public and private.

"If this is such a big issue, and it is, this is not a trivial issue, then why wasn't it the subject of a standalone bill that would have gone through the deliberative process, the committee process?" said Tampa Catholic football coach Bob Henriquez, a former state representative.

"And the answer is, the standalone bill never would have seen the light of day. This is a clever ploy under the cover of all the issues they should be talking about."