Rep. Steve Riggs wants to remove KHSAA authority to fine schools - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Rep. Steve Riggs wants to remove KHSAA authority to fine schools, athletic personnel

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky State Representative Steve Riggs, a Louisville Democrat, wants to remove the authority of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association to fine schools and athletic personnel.

"Promoting sportsmanship is a coach's job and they should not have to be looking over their shoulder when they encourage young student athletes to be gracious winners and losers," said Riggs, who is Chairman of the House Local Government Committee.

That's after the KHSAA on Tuesday released what it later admitted was a "poorly worded" directive on shaking hands after athletic events.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said in a clarification issued on Wednesday, "there has never been a ban or prohibition on postgame handshakes or other types of good sporting behavior by the KHSAA, its Commissioner or its Board of Control."  The goal of the directive was to avoid what the KHSAA called "incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct."

JCPS said it would continue to allow post-game handshakes.  It sent an email to all principals and athletic directors saying the school district "will continue to honor the tradition of shaking hands after events."

Rep. Riggs also said, "When the General Assembly created the KHSSA, it did so to help foster pride, athletics and school spirit in Kentucky – not to create a government agency out creating fines out of thin air."  His bill would remove the association's authority to create fines while still regulating high school athletics in Kentucky.

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