Que Tucker, Commissioner of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, was asked by lawmakers Thursday about the association’s origins and finances.
Senator Phil Berger, who co-chaired the Special Subcommittee, said no action would be taken on Thursday after the two-hour and ten-minute meeting, but a future meeting to continue the investigation. I expected that there would be.
In the highlights of the meeting:
▪ ▪ Senator Vicky Sawyer (R-Iadel) has released findings showing that NCHSAA’s total wealth exceeds $ 40 million, much higher than other state high school associations. She was comparable to NCHSAA’s finances to ACC’s.
Sawyer said that if NCHSAA stopped claiming membership fees, assessing fines, receiving gate receipts, and stopping interest on the $ 26.5 million fund, it would have enough assets to operate for nearly a decade. Said.
“If I’m a member school and many people contact me, that’s why I’m here today. I’m very worried about how much money goes in and out of the association door,” Sawyer said. I am. ..
▪ ▪ Tucker told the subcommittee about the history of the association and its donations, digging into finances, including a $ 1 annual fee per registered student.
She said the association started in 1913 and became a 501C3 company in 1976. Tucker said the association began donating in the 1990-91 school year and is worth more than $ 440,000 in the first year. She explained that the plan was to expand the balance and use interest, and in 2010 the NCHSAA Board decided to step up efforts to return donations to member schools now located at 421. ..
▪ ▪ According to Tucker, the NCHSAA Board has approved the return of $ 4 million to member schools during the 2020-21 school year, which was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent non-pandemic years, the association returned an average of $ 1.3 million to $ 1.4 million to schools, with poorer schools undoubtedly having a larger share, Tucker said.
▪ ▪ Congressman John Bell (R-Wayne) asked about what he called an imbalance in competition in 1A athletics, which is now dominated by charter schools. Bell believes that charters that can be drawn from multiple counties within a 25-mile radius of the campus have unique advantages over 1A schools with defined geographic areas.
Tucker said it’s hard to find something fair to both sides, but a new formula for determining playoff eligibility may help address the 1A issue in the next reorganization starting in the fall. He added that he couldn’t.
“We are keenly aware of the concerns of more traditional schools with charter schools,” Tucker said. “We have several times convened non-traditional school committees to try to address concerns from traditional schools …. I believe in the next readjustment cycle, but how many Some of them may be adjusted because the criteria have been set. Some of the charter schools that are 1A (now) have moved to 2A (in the playoffs). “
▪ ▪ Towards the end of the meeting, Senator Paul Newton (R-Cabalas) tells Tucker that there is an imbalance between the amount the association has and the potential benefits it can make for its members. He said he felt. organ.
Tucker said this will be the focus as NCHSAA prepares for its annual board meeting in May.
“In my dreams,” Tucker said. “I never thought I was sitting in front of you trying to defend why we have money,” she said. “But one of the things we want to do is to hear from you and share with you what we are trying to do, and hear that you are sharing with us. , We grew up, went back, and two weeks after the board came in, we started that discussion (about potential financial changes) and (things) more than we did. You can put it where you can. “
▪ ▪ After the meeting, Tucker issued the following statement to the media: “Thanks to the members of the General Assembly Committee for giving us the opportunity to discuss high school athletics in North Carolina. This is an insightful experience and we are a legislator’s concern about our association. We are grateful to hear the open dialogue. We believe we have achieved our goal of better communicating our mission, vision and values to legislators. We will hold this dialogue in the coming weeks. I look forward to continuing. “