TSSAA Legislative Council Agenda – March 2017

March 15, 2017
Murfreesboro, TN

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of Last Meeting
  3. Old Business
    1. Cooperative Programs (Article I, Section 6 of the TSSAA Bylaws)

      In our last meeting, the Legislative Council passed the following language to go into effect during the 2017-2018 school year:

      Public and Charter Schools may form cooperative agreements with only other Public and Charter Schools. Independent Schools may form cooperative agreements with only other Independent Schools.

      After reviewing the current agreements, it is the staff’s recommendation that the language read:

      DI schools may form cooperative agreements with only other DI schools. DII schools may form cooperative agreements with only other DII schools.

      Rationale: Amending the Bylaw to read as proposed would protect the majority of small schools that currently have cooperative agreements. Most have been in place for many years.

    2. Proposed Addition to Article I, Section 6 (Cooperative Programs) of the TSSAA Bylaws

      This item was tabled at the last meeting. Supplement #1 contains information regarding cooperative programs that were approved over the last two years as well as the enrollment breakpoints for the new classification period. The original proposal is below.

      Section 6 currently reads:

      Only two member schools may petition TSSAA annually for permission to have a cooperative program in any sport if one of the schools does not have that program and has not had that program for the last five years. The Executive Director of TSSAA may approve such cooperative programs subject to approval by principal of schools involved, the governing board of the schools involved, and the Board of Control.


      Schools that have a cooperative program will be classified in the sports in which the cooperative program exists by using the smaller number of the following calculations.

      1. Combined enrollment of the two schools involved in the cooperative program.

      2. Applying a multiplier of 1.8 to the larger of the two schools involved in the cooperative program.


      School A allows students from School B to participate in basketball at School A through an approved cooperative program. School A has an enrollment of 574 and School B has an enrollment of 222. Their combined enrollment is 796. The multiplier of 1.8 for School A (the larger school) is 1033. Therefore, School A would be classified at 796 for basketball only.


      Cooperative programs were developed to provide opportunities for students in schools that did not have the ability to offer athletic programs for their students due to the size of the school. However there are currently cooperative programs that have schools that are both large enough to offer athletic programs that are participating as a cooperative program. This provides a potential unfair advantage by allowing a school access to student athletes that are not included in their enrollment for classification. Therefore, they are classified at classes lower than the actual number of student athletes they have available for participation. This also puts other member schools at a disadvantage. In every class the bottom 3 to 4 schools would be able to play at a lower classification, therefore, improving their ability to compete if the cooperative schools were classified based on the number of students they have available for participation.

      (Submitted by McKenzie High School)

    3. Proposed Change to the Definition of “Financial Assistance Program” in the TSSAA Bylaws

      This item was tabled at the last meeting. Supplement #2 contains a letter from Columbia Academy requesting the Legislative Council amend the definition of “Financial Assistance Program.” The proposed change is intended to clarify what constitutes employment.

    4. Proposed Change to Article II, Section 21 (Independent Game Participation) of the TSSAA Bylaws

      At the last meeting, the Legislative Council requested the staff work on the language of this proposal and bring it back to the March meeting. Supplement #3 contains the staff’s revised proposal.

    5. Athletic Coaching Links

      The Council requested this item be added to the March agenda to look at the portion of the rule that states that the athletic coaching link rule is not enforced if the student has completed the highest ending grade at their previous school. Currently the rule states:

      If a student with an athletic record transfers to a new school where an “athletic coaching link” existed in the past 12 months, that student is ineligible for 12 months at all levels in the specific sports where a linkage was present. Links may include (1) attendance at an individual camp (and then transferring); (2) playing on non-school (independent) teams (and then transferring to that coach’s school); (3) transferring into a school where a former coach has been hired; and (4) transferring to as school where a former or current personal trainer or strength and conditioning coach is employed.

      This rule does not apply if the student moves to his/her new schools after completion of the highest ending grade at his/her previous school.

  4. New Business
    1. Proposed Change to Article I, Section 2 (Membership)

      Supplement #4 contains changes to the way membership contracts and fees are collected each year.

    2. Middle School Independent Game Rule (TMSAA Article II, Section 21)

      The Legislative Council approved the TMSAA Committee’s recommendation that member middle schools be allowed to waive the independent game rule for one year only in all sports except football and basketball during their March 2016 meeting. The Council requested that a final recommendation be brought back to the Council after the one year trial period. Member middle schools were asked to complete a survey about the change to the independent game rule. The TMSAA Committee and staff recommend that the change to remove the independent game rule for all sports except football and basketball be made permanent.

  5. Litigation Report