Ky. lawmaker 'blows the whistle' on KHSAA potential fines

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by Jacob Ryan

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 12:00 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)- - A Kentucky congressman is filing a bill to disable the director of the KHSAA to incur fines on school officials and coaches for prompting a team’s involvement in post game handshakes.

State Representative Steve Riggs (D-Louisville) said the sportsmanship promoted through actions such as shaking hands is a coach’s job.

“[Coaches] should not have to be looking over their shoulder when they encourage young student athletes to be gracious winners and losers,” Riggs said.

The potential fines stem from a recent directive issued by KHSAA director, Julian Tackett, encouraging coaches not to allow players to get involved in the post game tradition, due to an influx of physical confrontations.  None of which have happened locally.

Riggs said the KHSAA was created to “foster pride, athletics and school spirit in Kentucky, not to create a government agency out creating fines out of thin air.”

He said he hopes his legislation to ban fines will remind the KHSAA to focus on its mission of high school athletics.

The bill will remove KHSAA’s authority to fine coaches, trainers, team officials or volunteers for not only allowing student athletes to shake hands before or after sporting events, but also for creating fines for any other behaviors of this nature, according to a press release.

Riggs, the chairman of the House Local Government committee, said he plans on shuttling the bill through the legislative process during the 2014 General Assembly.

“Not only do I believe the KHSAA was wrong in pushing this directive and threatening school officials and coaches with fines,” he said.  “I am not convinced they had the authority to do that in the first place.”
 

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