MHSAA should reconsider recent ruling

Published 12:05 am Thursday, July 2, 2015

Unfortunately, high school sports invariably have a small group of adults who seem perfectly OK to put their own agendas ahead of the hopes and dreams of children.

Often lost in the hoopla surrounding high school sports is a key fact — the players are still children, no matter how physically adult-like they appear.

The Mississippi High School Activities Association, the entity that regulates public school athletics in the state, recently made a decision that clearly put the wants of adults ahead of the children the group aims to regulate and serve.

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Last month the MHSAA voted to change its practice allowing schools near the state border to permit out-of-state students to play sports, provided they lived within a small footprint near the school. The vote apparently was taken without alerting or seeking input from schools, parents and students who would be affected.

For the most part this ruling affects a relatively small number of students who attend parochial schools — locally that includes Cathedral School.

The ruling, no matter how well-intentioned the MHSAA officials want to portray it, appears to be mostly about appeasing a small group of complainers rather than addressing a legitimate problem.

The result of the change is many students who have attended their schools their entire school career may be ineligible to play sports in high school.

That seems unfair to those young players and their families.

We urge the MHSAA to reconsider the sudden change and at the very least consider allowing existing students to be grandfathered in under the new rules for the next several years.