Dearing Statement on Signing of House Bill 1403
Statement from Dr. Roger Dearing,
Executive Director, Florida High School Athletic Association
Regarding House Bill 1403
“Governor Scott made a thoughtful decision in signing House Bill 1403, and the Florida High School Athletic Association will do all we can to help implement this new law for the benefit of student-athletes across our state.
“This legislation grew out of sincere and valid concerns about some specific issues regarding high school athletics in Florida, and we intend to address those concerns in a meaningful way. We recognize that the bill was well-intentioned, and its sponsors truly had the best interests of Florida student-athletes, parents and schools at heart.
“At FHSAA, we have always been and will continued to be diligent in seeking to improve and strengthen our policies, procedures and programs for our student-athletes. We want to ensure fair and equitable opportunities for the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who participate in our high school athletics every year. With that in mind, and with meaningful lessons learned over the past few months, we will implement the new requirements of the legislation with dedication and commitment. We can benefit greatly from the perspectives of bill sponsors Representative Kelli Stargel and Senator Stephen Wise, and we intend to embrace and implement their ideas and those of their leadership and colleagues as quickly as possible.
“Over the course of the legislative deliberations regarding the future of FHSAA, we learned some valuable lessons about both the reality and the perception of what we do and how we do it. We are grateful to the bill’s sponsors and supporters for highlighting areas of genuine concern, and we intend to be responsive to those concerns. We will always be vigilant in our continuing efforts to provide the best possible high school athletic experience for boys and girls throughout our state – because we are not just training better athletes, we are developing better citizens.”