House OKs bill aimed at athletics group

Posted at 6:39 AM, Apr 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-25 02:51:24-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida House has passed a bill that would rein in some power wielded by Florida's main governing body for high school athletics.

Rep. Larry Metz says his measure (HB 1279) is meant to set some "checks and balances" in eligibility investigations and rulings by the Florida High School Athletic Association. The bill cleared the House on an 89-26 vote Wednesday night.

Opponents warn the bill would create a system of high school athletic "free agency," a claim denied by supporters.

The measure would set a presumption of eligibility for students who comply with enrollment and transfer deadlines while still giving the FHSAA the power to prevent recruiting.

The bill would put time limits on eligibility investigations and allow judges to hear appeals.

Similar legislation is being considered by the state Senate.