As two bills critical of the Florida High School Athletic Association find new signs of life in the legislature, the state's governing body for high school sports has added another vocal ally.
The National Federation of State High School Associations issued a rare resolution this week supporting the FHSAA against proposals to overhaul its structure, limit its investigative powers, weaken its finances and make it easier for athletes to shop schools.
"We live in an age and time of society where absolutely no one wants to hear 'No…' " NFHS executive director Bob Gardner said Thursday in a teleconference. "Those people go to anybody that they can find that they think can overturn that and get their way and say yes. Unfortunately in this instance, they've chosen to go to the legislature."
And the legislature is slowly pushing the bills forward. House Bill 1279 is waiting to be heard on the House of Representatives floor. Its weaker companion, Senate Bill 1164, was considered dead before being resurrected in the Senate's education committee.
Committee chairman Sen. John Legg said he had "extreme reservations and concerns" about the bill but will allow it to be discussed Monday morning.
"We know it's important to the House and several other individuals," said Legg, R-Lutz. "So we wanted to hear the debate. We're not afraid of the debate."
Neither is FHSAA commissioner Roger Dearing, who had his second conference call with reporters. He reiterated fears that easing transfer restrictions would cause free agency.
Staff writer Jeffrey Solochek contributed to this report.