Posted: 9:06 pm Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

FHSAA overhaul to wait ’til next year 

By Matt Porter

The push by Lakeland-area lawmakers to assert more state control over the organization that oversees high school athletics in Florida won’t advance this year, the sponsor of the bill said Thursday.

Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) said with the Senate due to take up the budget on Friday there isn’t time to advance the measure (HB 1279), which would put new restrictions on investigations by the Florida High School Athletic Association.

“Unless some miracle happens, it’s not something that is going to happen this year,” Stargel said after the Senate quit for the day Thursday evening.

We wrote about HB 1279 and its potential consequences in a Palm Beach Post story this week.

“I’d prefer not to have to work on this again,” Stargel said. “I’d prefer the FHSAA do what we’ve asked them to do, which is restructure their bylaws (in a way) that is fair to students.”

The bill also would expand the ability for students to transfer schools during the school year, give charter and home school students more opportunities to play for public school teams, alter the makeup of the board of directors, give school districts more say over athletic regulations in each county, and set a 2017 date to sunset the 93-year-old organization.

The FHSAA lobbied against the bill.

The House had approved the measure – 89-26 – on April 24.

An FHSAA spokesperson did not immediately offer public comment.

Information from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.