RELEASE February 14, 2020
For the past
several years, teams here in Green Country have played the state
football championship at the University of Tulsa. Its a
great location for our schoolsconvenient to get to and the
stadium can well accommodate the huge crowds that show up to support
their schools team.
changed last year, leaving parents, patrons and students feeling
extremely frustrated. Thats because of a decision made just
weeks before the championship by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools
Activities Association (OSSAA). Instead of allowing the game to
be held at a stadium near the competing teams, they signed a contract
with the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond so that all
the championship games would be played there, regardless of where
the schools were from. Once they signed that contract, it was
a done deal, and nothing our citizens had to say mattered.
making the ten-mile trip to TU, anyone that wanted to attend the
Owasso/Jenks championship game had to drive 150 miles to UCO.
Owasso had the visitors side of the stadium, and there were
not nearly enough seats available. In the past that game would
have easily drawn 20,000 cheering fans, but it was only 7,500
when held at UCO this past December.
even schedule the game during the afternoon. It was eight in the
evening, meaning students were driving 150 miles back home late
at night. I believe the safety of those students, families and
fans, the convenience for the competing schools, and the size
of the venue should have all been considered by the OSSAA, but
they werent. Furthermore, news broke on Wednesday saying
the OSSAA was looking at a possible long-term deal to hold all
the championship games at UCO.
some who say the Legislature shouldnt get involved in OSSAA
decisions, but their actions negatively impacted thousands of
Oklahomans whose concerns were ignored and now it looks like the
organization is going to keep on ignoring them. Because of the
number of people impacted, I believe this is a situation that
needs to be addressed.
why I filed Senate Bill 1111 this session, to give the schools
competing in state championships a choice about where the game
will be played. SB 1111 simply says the competing schools will
have a say in the championship venue, and if they cant agree,
then the OSSAA will decide.
our schools and their patrons shouldnt be forced to drive
halfway across the state when a more suitable venue is just a
few minutes away. The measure was approved by the Senate Education
committee this past week and now moves to the floor for consideration
by the full Senate.
your comments on state government and the issues before us. Please
feel free to contact me by writing to Senator J.J. Dossett at
the State Capitol, Room 521-A, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105; call
me at (405) 521-5566.
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