CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Huntington Prep’s long battle to participate in national high school basketball tournaments and compete for national championships continues.

The program currently is unable to do so, because it’s not recognized by the West Virginia Secondary Schools Athletics Commission (WVSSAC). On Thursday in Charleston, the state senate education committee passed a bill that would give Huntington Prep that recognition – the bill will now be sent to the senate judiciary committee for consideration.

“I know that people have had some heartburn about this over the last few years, but I really appreciate everyone stepping up and trying to work on this to get it resolved,” said Wyoming County senator Daniel Hall. “It’s the right move to make, to do something good in West Virginia and keep a prep school here that is nationally famous and world renowned. It’s a good thing to do to keep them here, because if we don’t do it, they’re going to pick up and move and go to Ohio or Kentucky.”

Athletes who play for Huntington Prep attend St. Joseph Central, which is recognized by the WVSSAC.

“They would like to be recognized, and that’s our goal – they won’t be competing (in WVSSAC games),” said Boone County senator Ron Stollings. “It would be unfair if these guys were playing other Class A schools in the state.”

“The reality is that they don’t want to compete against local high schools – they beat most of the schools that they play by 60 points anyway, those are other prep schools,” Hall said. “The reason for being recognized is to get national rankings and be able to play in the ESPN tournaments in New York and things like that.”

You can read the full bill below:

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §18-2-25 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

§18-2-25. Authority of county boards to regulate athletic and other extracurricular activities of secondary schools; delegation of authority to West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission; authority of commission; approval of rules and regulations by state board; incorporation; funds; participation by private and parochial schools.

(a) The county boards of education are hereby granted and shall exercise the control, supervision and regulation of all interscholastic athletic events, and other extracurricular activities of the students in public secondary schools, and of said schools of their respective counties. The county board of education may delegate such control, supervision and regulation of interscholastic athletic events and band activities to the “West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission,” which is hereby established.

(b) The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission shall be composed of the principals, or their representatives, of those secondary schools whose county boards of education have certified in writing to the State Superintendent of Schools that they have elected to delegate the control, supervision and regulation of their interscholastic athletic events and band activities of the students in the public secondary schools in their respective counties to said commission. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission is hereby empowered to exercise the control, supervision and regulation of interscholastic athletic events and band activities of secondary schools, delegated to it pursuant to this section. The rules and regulations of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission shall contain a provision for a proper review procedure and review board and be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, but shall, in all instances be subject to the prior approval of the state board. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, may, with the consent of the State Board of Education, incorporate under the name of “West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, Inc.,” as a nonprofit, nonstock corporation under the provisions of chapter thirty-one of this code. County boards of education are hereby authorized to expend moneys for and pay dues to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, and all moneys paid to such the commission, as well as moneys derived from any contest or other event sponsored by said commission, shall be quasi-public funds as the same are defined in article five, chapter eighteen, and such the funds of the commission shall be subject to an annual audit by the State Tax Commissioner.

(c) The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission shall promulgate reasonable rules and regulations providing for the control, supervision and regulation of the interscholastic athletic events and other extracurricular activities of such private and parochial secondary schools as elect to delegate to such the commission such control, supervision and regulation, upon the same terms and conditions, subject to the same regulations and requirements and upon the payment of the same fees and charges as those provided for public secondary schools. Any such private or parochial secondary school shall receive any monetary or other benefits in the same manner and in the same proportion as any public secondary school.

(d) The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission shall promulgate reasonable rules pursuant to this section that allow a college preparatory team to elect to be recognized as a member of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission. The rules shall:

(1) Limit recognition of college preparatory teams as members of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission to only those college preparatory teams that require its students to attend a school that has elected to delegate control pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section;

(2) Prohibit a college preparatory team recognized as a member of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission from competing for league, regional or state championships;

(3) Prohibit a college preparatory team recognized as a member of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission from having fifth year seniors or post-high school graduate student athletes on its roster; and

(4) Require a college preparatory team recognized as a member of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission to play a limited schedule in each sanctioned sport against schools that have elected to delegate control pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission to promulgate rules that allow a college preparatory team to elect to be recognized as a member.

 

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Comments

  • Mighty Mighty Devil

    Perhaps now they can pass a bill preventing Jim Justice from recruiting in-state players by giving jobs to their parents. Just saying.

  • stephen

    it basically says they can be recognized for national hours. in no way would they want to compete with single A schools. you can take the best 12 players in the state the past 10 years, and they couldn't beat this team on any given year.

  • chasmo

    Life is GREAT in WV if this is what our representatives are worried about . Goodness

  • wvu999

    And it's fair that the other private schools participate in class single A?

    • Pioneer

      Create a private class ( AAAA) and group them in with the private schools

      • Aaron

        If you're going to create a private class form while out to compete in SSAC to begin with.

        I think a more appropriate approach would be to classify private schools with AA schools.

  • Chef Camille

    Gee what a great way to waste the efforts of our legislature. Seriously are there not more critical issues facing this state. I always turn to WWBD!
    What would Booth Do in these matters.

    • WVU86

      Chef - every year, our state politicians introduce as many as 2,000 bills for consideration. So add this bill to a very long list.

  • Cam Brown

    As a parent of a high school basketball player I can think of no good reason why this bill should not be fully supported. If you agree please let your representatives know.