Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

September 17, 2013

Legislator: OSSAA's power too expansive

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Sheakley said the association also voluntarily complies with the state’s open records and meetings acts and has regular audits by a private firm.

“We think that we’re open and we’re very transparent,” Sheakley said.

Rep. Gus Blackwell, R-Laverne, has said he scheduled the meetings — also set for Sept. 24 and Oct. 3 — to determine whether more transparency is needed because courts have labeled OSSAA a “quasi-government organization.”

Among those who plan to testify Tuesday is Lynn Martin, the publisher of the Alva Review-Courier newspaper. He says OSSAA officials denied him an opportunity to take photographs of Alva High School girls’ basketball team during the state championship trophy presentations last year because of a contract with a photography studio.

“These are taxpayer-supported teams,” Martin said. “And now we’re seeing some of this professional licensing stuff creep into what should be amateur sports.”

Sheakley confirmed the OSSAA limited photography for the presentation, but said individual players and schools were given an opportunity to pose with the trophies afterward.

“The awards presentation is not a photo shoot. We’ve got time constraints,” Sheakley said. “We can’t have a bunch of people delaying it and trying to take pictures.”

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