Report: OHSAA Has Not Made All Recommended Changes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state's governing body for high school sports has made some reforms but not all those recommended a year ago by an oversight committee, The Columbus Dispatch reported on Monday.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced last month that it had implemented all of the reforms recommended by the independent committee.

"The structure we had in place has worked and has been a good process," said Gene Klaus, OHSAA president. "We decided to leave it like it was."

An independent committee was formed in March 2001 after reports of questionable financial practices by the association. It recommended that the OHSAA review its structure, hire a new auditor, limit the number of people attending national conventions and send money collected from athletic tournaments around the state to the home office in Columbus for distribution.

Those recommendations were made in response to criticism that there was little oversight of the almost $6 million in ticket sales for tournaments that was collected by the OHSAA's six district athletic boards. In addition, the association sent more than 50 people to a national convention in Hawaii a year ago.

A new auditor was hired and fewer members were sent to a national convention, but the newspaper, citing unnamed sources and association documents, said the OHSAA has not made substantive changes to how revenue is handled.

The association's commissioner, Clair Muscaro, was permitted for the first time to look at the budgets submitted by the districts and to demand receipts for expenses.

Muscaro was rebuffed from spreading $600,000 in profits from the 2001 football tournament to all 819 member schools. The OHSAA's board of control instead decided that only the teams in the tournament would benefit.

"I just thought it would have been good to give every school $500," Muscaro said. "I have no problem with their decision."

Muscaro also wanted a $100,000 limit on the amount of money each of the district boards would have on hand to begin the school year. That idea was also rejected. Some districts have as much as $400,000 in the bank.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)