Friday, September 26, 2014

IHSA Cries Foul Over Timing of New legislative Committee Hearing Looking Into IHSA Operations

From the Illinois High School Association.. objecting to the scheduling of a hearing next Friday afternoon at 4 pm, when many of their principals, and Athletic Directors and parents cannot attend to voice their concerns at the legislative hearing into the IHSA operations. 


Four quick updates regarding the hearing:

1)      As of the time of this email, 508 individuals, mostly from constituents at IHSA member high schools, have cast online witness slips on opposing the hearing taking place. 14 individuals have cast votes as proponents of the hearing, however, 12 of those individuals have reached out to the IHSA to inform us they did so accidently and have since cast opposing votes.

2)      Committee member Barb Wheeler issued a press release (linked here) saying the timing of the hearing is “political shenanigans”.

3)      Mike Clark also wrote a column in the Chicago Sun Times (linked here) questioning the timing and motive of the hearing, saying “It speaks to the dysfunction of Springfield.”

4)      Finally, the Illinois Athletic Directors Association (IADA) has also echoed those sentiments, sending out the letter below yesterday to committee members:

September 25, 2014
Dear Member of the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee, 

The Illinois Athletic Directors Association (IADA) is reaching out to you today, asking that you give consideration to rescheduling the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) hearing that has been scheduled for Friday, October 3 at 4:00 p.m. at South Shore International High School in Chicago.

Many members of our organization traveled to Springfield to show support for the IHSA at the first hearing and many more would like to attend the second hearing in the same capacity. However, the timing of the hearing will make it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for many constituents (on both sides of the issue) to be able to attend.

Weekends are very busy for our schools as we host and compete in a variety of activities. That begins with Friday night football games, which tend to be “all hands on deck” affairs for our coaches and staffs, who work the contests in a variety of roles. Additionally, many of our staff enjoy traveling to the games when our team is on the road or simply enjoy their time off. With many JV games kicking off by or before 5:00 p.m. and varsity by 7:00 p.m., we are left in a precarious position to choose between not providing support on an issue we feel very strongly about (supporting the IHSA) or being able to properly facilitate a safe game environment for the student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans who will attend these contests.

The IADA fundamentally opposes these hearings and hopes the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee will heed the voices of the educators who work with the IHSA every day. At very least, we believe we should be extended the courtesy of a meeting that is more readily accessible to Principals and Athletic Administrators and  of member schools as a whole.

Thank you for your consideration.


Mike Morris     Charlie Lochenour      John Woods           Steve Rockrohr
Mike Morris               Charlie Lochenour                    John Woods                       Steve Rockrohr
Ex. Director                President                                     President-Elect                 Past-President

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