April 17, 2023 – The TSSAA Legislative Council met in Murfreesboro on Monday, April 17 and voted on six proposed changes to the TSSAA Bylaws. Four of the six proposals were approved.
The first proposal, which was submitted by Tennessee Online Public School, was to change the wording in Article II, Section 27 (Virtual School Rule) of the TSSAA/TMSAA Bylaws. The proposal, which was denied, was that the participating student must have a legal residence within the school district of the school where he/she will be participating, if participating with a public school. The current wording requires the student to reside in the geographic area of the LEA of the member virtual school. The Council asked the state office to work on language that could align the Virtual School Rule with the Home School Rule.
A proposal was submitted by Maury County Public Schools to implement mandatory disciplinary action to be taken when unsportsmanlike incidents occur involving fans. The Council discussed the proposal at length and determined that something is needed and would like to discuss details and options before revisiting the proposal at a future called meeting to determine if something can be implemented before next school year begins.
The Council approved the following change in regards to disciplinary action for when the Amateur Rule is violated:
A student who violates any portion of the Amateur Rule shall be penalized according to the sanctions below:
a. First Violation: The student shall receive a formal warning and return any award(s) or money received in violation of this rule. TSSAA shall direct the student in violation to immediately remove any endorsement, advertisement, sponsorship, or other promotional activity that is in violation of the Amateur Rule.
b. Second Violation: The student shall be ineligible to participate in interscholastic athletics at any level of competition for a period of one (1) year from the date of TSSAA’s determination of the second violation.
c. Third Violation: The penalty and any additional period of ineligibility will be determined by the Executive Director based on a consideration of the nature of the violation(s) and the extent to which the violation(s) may have been knowing, deliberate, or in reckless disregard of the provisions of this rule.
NOTE: It is expected that the TSSAA member school will ensure adherence to any of the above penalties imposed on their student.
A proposed change to Article III, Section 14 (Playing of Ineligible Student-Athletes) of the TSSAA Bylaws was also approved.
When a team plays an ineligible athlete in TSSAA tournaments or playoffs and wins the contest, the entire contest is forfeited win is vacated, the team is removed from the tournament or playoff, and no team replaces that team in the tournament series. All awards and money earned from the post season tournament series must be returned to TSSAA.
A full summary of the meeting can be found by clicking on the link below.
Legislative Council Summary (April 17, 2023) (PDF)