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MSHSAA letter to Big 8, Nevada and McDonald County

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 ~ Updated 12:27 PM

April 18, 2011

Administrators at McDonald County H.S., Nevada H.S., members of the Big 8 Conference, and MSHSAA Board of Directors;

I am writing you today to share the findings of the Ad Hoc Conference Affiliation Committee for McDonald County High School and Nevada High School.

This committee met on Monday, April 11, 2011 and listened to presentations by both schools seeking placement into the Big 8 Conference and representatives from the Big 8 Conference. This request has come under the MSHSAA Constitution and brings us to item 8 of the steps involved. The powers and duties of the MSHSAA Board of Directors listed under Article IV, Section 6 of the Missouri State High School Activities Association are as follows:

The Board of Directors is authorized to resolve problems of conference membership after the following steps have been exhausted. This provision is not to be applied if a school voluntarily withdraws from one conference to seek admittance to another conference, or to guarantee a school membership in a particular conference. Neither shall this provision be interpreted to require that a school must hold conference membership.

1. The school has functioned without conference affiliation for two years before appealing to the Board of Directors for assistance.

2. A school has made application for membership to existing conferences.

3. There is no voluntary conference affiliation available.

4. The schools concerned have attempted to form a new conference.

5. Existing conferences or an existing district activities association has been unable to resolve the conference membership problem.

6. The schools have appealed to the Board of Directors for assistance by petition giving full information regarding the problem and attempt to resolve it.

7. The school shall submit documentation to support that unusual hardships have been incurred by not having a conference affiliation.

8. An ad hoc committee appointed by the Board of Directors has studied the problem and made a recommendation to all schools involved.

9. A hearing is held by the Board of Directors involving all schools concerned.

10. The Board of Directors shall resolve the problem of conference affiliation by assigning the school to an appropriate conference or, based on the information gathered, take action not to assign the appealing school to a conference at the present time.

In compliance with step 8 of the process for request of a school to be placed in a conference the Ad Hoc Committee submitted the following to the schools involved and the MSHSAA Board of Directors. Based on the presentations by Nevada High School, McDonald County High School and the Big 8 Conference, the committee approved the following Belief Statements by consensus:

1. The committee declines to recommend that the Big 8 Conference accept Nevada High School and McDonald County High School into the conference membership, due to the committee's belief in the importance of free association and the potential problems that can be caused by forcing conferences to accept unwanted members.

2. The committee believes the Big 8 Conference is a good fit for Nevada High School and McDonald County High School, in regard to competitive equity and overall activity sponsorship.

3. The committee believes the Big 8 Conference could overcome, through dialogue and compromise, many if not all of the cited problems and concerns regarding the acceptance of Nevada High School and McDonald County High School into the Big 8.

4. The committee believes the Big 8 Conference could and possibly should accept Nevada High School and McDonald County High School into the conference membership.

5. The committee believes that, should the Big 8 decline further negotiations, Nevada High School should pursue conference membership with the West Central Conference.

6. The committee believes that, should the Big 8 decline further negotiations, McDonald County High School should pursue conference membership with the Central Ozark Conference and/or the Ozark Conference.

The official action taken by the committee to present to the MSHSAA Board of Directors is as follows:

1. Motion Haley, Mouser second to take no action in regard to a recommendation for placement of Nevada High School into a conference. Motion passed 10-0.

2. Motion Markley, Townsend second to take no action in regard to a recommendation for placement of McDonald County into a conference. Motion passed 10-0.

The schools involved in this process, McDonald County High School and Nevada High School have the opportunity under item 9 to request a hearing before the MSHSAA Board of Directors at the June Board meeting. If such a hearing is requested, all schools will be given an opportunity to present information to the Board of Directors, including the Big 8 schools. The MSHSAA Board of Director will only take action at the June Board meeting if a hearing before the Board is requested in accordance with the MSHSAA Constitution.

Respectfully,

Kerwin Urhahn



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