IHSA fending off state takeover potential

Apr 7, 2014

The Illinois High School Association is fending off the possibility of a state takeover. 

The IHSA is the non-profit group that oversees high school sports tournaments and extracurricular competitions. The Illinois House Monday approved a resolution that paves the way for legislative hearings on how it functions.

Legislators are frustrated that the organization has failed to voluntarily turn over information -- like its contracts with sports companies. They say it's a government matter because the IHSA was created by the General Assembly.

But legislators like Representative David Reis, a Republican from Willow Hill, in southern Illinois, see it as an intrusion. 

"We're after trying to bully IHSA into doing what this body thinks that they should be doing. No. IHSA has been committed to providing independent form politics involvement in our school sports for over 100 years. Independent of politics. Why we would want to politicize this is beyond me."

The House resolution calls for looking into handing over the IHSA's duties to the Illinois State Board of Education --- which is a government agency. But the sponsor says she has no intention of actually going through with a transfer of power.