Board of Directors' Meeting Notes
January 16, 2013
The following represents highlights of the January meeting of the MIAA Board of Directors.
President McCann reported on the Joint Meeting of the MSSAA and MIAA Finance/Personnel committees. This meeting of the two committees was organized for the purpose of creating a succession plan in response to the executive director’s notification to both Boards in the late fall that he would like to move toward retirement. The President reported that the joint meeting was productive and collaborative. A calendar and process were established for selecting a new executive director of the two Associations.
Thom Holdgate, President of MSSADA, was present to discuss his proposed Constitutional Amendment to increase by four members the athletic director representation on the Board of Directors. The Amendment would permit MSSADA to elect one athletic director from each of the eight MIAA athletic districts. Currently, each of four athletic directors on the Board represents two districts.
It was voted (10-3) to recommend APPROVAL of this Amendment to the Assembly. During discussion, it was suggested that: school principals increasingly rely upon, and delegate to their athletic directors; and, the current representation of two districts by one athletic director has proven problematic whenever the two districts have different positions on significantly important issues. On the other side of the vote was the question of whether a larger Board would be less efficient.
It then was voted that this Amendment would be acted upon by written ballot during the Annual Meeting of the Assembly on Friday, April 5.
After discussion, it was voted 10-3 to end MIAA sponsorship of boys' gymnastics (upon the conclusion of this current winter season). This decision was made months after notifying the leadership of member schools and the MIAA Gymnastics Committee that such an action was under consideration.
The Board had a duty to act after learning that the National Federation of State High School Associations will no longer write high school rules for boys' gymnastics. This, along with the Board recognizing that only seven of 375 MIAA member schools sponsor this sport, led to this decision.
This Board action need have no impact upon the seven schools' programs. They are welcome and able to conduct their boys' gymnastics program as do many schools in other sports not sanctioned by MIAA. Far more than seven Association schools conduct rugby, crew, sailing, bowling, or ultimate Frisbee, which also are not MIAA recognized sports. This Board action may actually allow for additional gymnastics opportunities for boys inasmuch as the sport may now be conducted without Association restrictions (e.g. there need be no seasonal limits, boys currently on mixed gender girls' teams may be invited to join boys' teams, schools with mixed gender girls' teams may combine their boys to form a new team).
The defiance by Gardner leaders of repeated deadlines by the Board of Directors required Board action. Gardner’s failure to accept Board consequences in response to a series of violations identified during the year-long Association effort to move Gardner to compliance, led the Board to exclude Gardner from Association-sponsored winter tournaments (all sports), and further if the defiance continued beyond March 6, the Board will consider spring tournament ineligibility and the rejection of MIAA membership for the 2013-14 academic year.
It was voted to extend Randolph High School’s exclusion status for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Plymouth South’s appeal of the Football Committee decisions regarding the Natick/Plymouth South playoff football game saw Plymouth South, Natick, and the MIAA Football Committee each represented. Plymouth South was appealing two elements of the Football Committee decisions. The Board granted the appeal of Plymouth South, and notified the two schools accordingly of the results.
Upon learning of the retirement of Attorney Robert Fraser, the Board requested that a message of gratitude and best wishes be forwarded to Mr. Fraser in recognition of his representation of the Association and his good counsel over the years.
The Board learned that the guardians of a Canadian ice hockey player were initiating litigation to gain eligibility, which had been denied through the three-step eligibility waiver/appeal process within the Association. [The court subsequently denied the plaintiff’s petition, thereby upholding the Association.]
The Board reviewed State House activity during an “informal legislative session” on New Year’s Eve in the form of an attempt to place onerous burdens upon the Association and member schools who might host future MIAA-sponsored tournaments.
The Board was reminded of recently passed legislation which creates extended protocols for virtual schools.
The Board received a public records’ decision from the office of the Secretary of State supporting the MIAA position that it is not a public entity, and that communications between the Association and member schools were not subject to the “public records’ law”.
Mike Rubin reported on his recent responsibilities as a member of the National Federation Board of Directors.