EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a statement as released from Sunshine State Athletic Conference Commissioner Stuart Weiss in regards to the signing of HB 7029 on Thursday. We do not endorse nor reject the information that is stated below and is only presented here for informational purposes to provide different view points in regards to HB 7029.[quote font_size=”12″ bgcolor=”#” color=”#000000″ bcolor=”#2f4f26″ arrow=”no”]
“Yesterday, the Sunshine State Athletic Conference (SSAC) applauded Governor Rick Scott for the signing of HB 7029. Contained within the significant education bill was language that allows schools to join the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) on a per-sport basis and prohibits the FHSAA from taking any action that will “discourage a private school from simultaneously maintaining membership in another athletic association.” However in the short time since its passage, the FHSAA has gone against the intent of the law. The Association released a comparison in the hours after the bill signing outlining the benefits of “Full Membership” with the FHSAA and the benefits of “Membership by Sport” which states that only those who are full members may choose to participate in the Florida High School State Championship Series in any athletic sport.
“Obviously, we are very disappointed that the FHSAA, and its leadership, has chosen to enforce an unlawful and retaliatory policy that punishes and discourages schools who chose to join FHSAA on a per-sports basis by only allowing full members the ability to compete for a State Championship in any sport.
“The legislature made it very clear during the 2016 Session that schools would be allowed to join the FHSAA, and other organizations, on a per-sport basis without consequence. The motivation of the legislators and the SSAC has always been to give choice back to the schools- where it belongs. The House and Senate worked collaboratively to forge a compromise between both the SSAC and FHSAA with this motivation as a driving force. The SSAC and its many supporters will use every available option to seek protection for the rights of its members, as well as, all schools, coaches and student athletes in the State of Florida following the action of the FHSAA.”[/quote]
The SSAC has noted to us their will be more information coming in the near future as in regards to their playoffs and future.