The TSSAA differs from organizations established by law in that it was established by the schools themselves to exercise those responsibilities that they wish to have handled collectively by the schools instead of each school assuming individual responsibility.
The TSSAA, therefore, is not a separate entity but is a voluntary organization of schools. Each member school is as much a part of the TSSAA as any other one school. It agrees to abide by the same minimum standards and regulations as do all other member schools.
As in all other democratic organizations, the will of the majority is followed. There are some standards and regulations to which an individual school might object. However, the majority of schools can change any provision of the Constitution and Bylaws through the process of amendment.
The impression left with many individuals outside the schools is that the TSSAA is an organization that exercises authority over the schools. In reality, the only authority exercised over the schools is by the schools themselves. They simply act collectively through the TSSAA instead of individually in those matters that the majority think can better be handled in such manner.
The Board of Control is only the executive body elected by the schools to carry out their desires. The schools administer their program through the TSSAA with the help of the Board of Control in a manner very similar to that of a community administering its program of public education through its Board of Education.
It is important that all school administrators keep their Boards of Education clearly informed of the nature of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association of which their schools are members. This policy will help to avoid any misunderstanding and embarrassment for any local school administrator if questioned by members of his Board of Education as to why the school must comply with regulations of the TSSAA. It will help them to acquire a more complete understanding when they realize that the school is complying only with standards that it has agreed collectively with other schools to uphold.