“We are pleased to have the acknowledgement and clarification of our private, non-profit status from the Louisiana Supreme Court and look forward to continuing our mission to provide the very best in championship competition for our member schools, without the onerous burden of political meddling,” says Kenny Henderson, Executive Director of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
The LHSAA had sought clarification from the state’s highest court as a result of previous decisions that declared the organization “a quasi public agency or body.” Henderson says the previous rulings singled out the LHSAA for legislative oversight that was not mandated on similar organizations including Beta Clubs or Key Clubs.
“These are all private, non-profit organizations with similar relationships to Louisiana public and private schools, yet the Legislature sought operational mandates over our Association alone. We are thankful the Court ruled that we should have the same protections as any other private organization,” he adds.
The LHSAA contends that in recent years the Legislature had become more proactive in its efforts to interfere with the operations of the Association. And while Henderson says the LHSAA has always been forthcoming with legislators, parents, coaches and the general public regarding controversial rule changes, the association felt strongly that governance of the organization was clearly left up to the member school principals.
“We address controversial issues virtually every year, but we do it like every other private organization, within our own bylaws and under the direction of our own members. Unfortunately some in the Legislature sought unconstitutional remedies when things didn’t always go their way. We appreciate the Court’s wisdom in addressing the matter and believe this ruling should settle the issue once and for all,” he concludes.