NC high school sports plan signed into law | Beaufort County Now | Governor Roy Cooper has signed the Accountability and Fair Play in Athletics bill into law.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is CJ Staff.

A high school goalie tends her post at the Millbrook High School versus Broughton High School soccer game in spring of 2021. Photo by Maya Reagan, Carolina Journal

    Governor Roy Cooper has signed the Accountability and Fair Play in Athletics bill into law.

    House Bill 91 is an effort to reform the management of high school sports in North Carolina amid controversy surrounding the governing body, the N.C. High School Athletics Association. The Senate gave their final approval to the measure earlier Wednesday, 41-7. The Senate's seven "no" votes were all Democrats.

    "For months we worked tirelessly to determine the best governing structure that supports our student-athletes and is transparent and accountable," Sen. Vickie Sawyer (R-Iredell) said. "After productive conversations with the NCHSAA, State Board of Education, Governor's Office, and our Democratic colleagues, we've established a clear path forward. I want to thank Gov. Cooper for signing this bill into law."

    Under the new law, the NCHSAA will continue to regulate high school sports in North Carolina, but only if it agrees to a list of reforms. The reforms would be cemented in a binding contract, with the State Board of Education.

    Carolina Journal has been reporting for months on efforts to reform high school sports. CJ wrote in-depth about how we got here, and it was not just because the NCHSAA has amassed $41 million dollars in assets.

    Among the required reforms, the NCHSAA would not be able to adopt new rules without first posting the proposed rules on its website and allowing time for public comment. The association would also have to comply with open meetings laws and public records laws. The organization would also now be audited by the state.

    According to a press statement from the legislature, the State Board of Education will adopt rules governing student participation, health and safety, appeals, the administering organization, and reporting, but may delegate the authority to establish rules for penalties, administration, gameplay, and fees. The SBE will also set up an independent appeals process.

    Members of the board of directors for the NCHSAA would have to adopt ethics policies requiring them to avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of impropriety and must ensure that board membership reflects equal representation from each education district.

    The NCHSAA would have to lessen the financial burden on its member schools. Annual fees to schools would be reduced by 20%, and NCHSAA could not collect more than a third of net profits from any state tournament game. The organization's handbook, rules, and appeals process NCHSAA would be required to make publicly available at no cost.

    Charter and non-public schools can continue participating in the NCHSAA, but they would be bumped up a classification. This provision is a huge sigh of relief for the four private schools that are members of the NCHSAA, Bishop McGuinness, Cardinal Gibbons, Charlotte Catholic, and Christ the King. Those schools would have been prevented from participating in the new public-school league in the original legislation. The NCHSAA would be forced to scrap a newly created formula for determining classifications and return to basing classification solely on the number of students at each school.

    More rules and reforms included in the measure are available here, most notably that the NCHSAA will no longer be allowed to issue fines to high schools for rules violations.

    "This legislation represents a Herculean effort to provide the best opportunities for our student-athletes, while also setting clear standards for all involved," Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Moore) said in a statement. "I'm thankful for everyone coming to the table and working to find a solution."

    Under the new law, the SBE is expected to reach a management agreement with the NCHSAA by March 15.
Go Back


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

The CIA claims that hundreds of cases of so-called “Havana Syndrome,” a set of neurological conditions long believed to be the result of an attack from a directed-energy weapon, are not the result of any kind of attack from a foreign power.
Beaufort County's Budgeting process begins with the Great and Annual Beaufort County Commissioner Retreat, where the Commissioners are told and shown and tasked to acknowledge just how much of the public's money is necessary to keep their government afloat.
The Democratic frontrunner in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race and a sitting state Supreme Court justice both appear on a high-profile shortlist of candidates to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
You’ve been waiting and waiting for the lamp you ordered to arrive at your home, but still nothing. You’ve likely chalked it up to Biden’s economy and a disrupted supply chain.
A new Cygnal survey commissioned by the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) shows that the radical liberal agenda being pursued by President Biden and his allies in Washington, D.C. is sinking Democrats at the state legislative level in a number of key battleground states across the country
On the heels of my colleague Jon Sanders highlighting that the cost to North Carolina taxpayers for each promised job from government handouts to corporations comes to $586,000 each, the N&O reports that two previous corporate welfare deals are being canceled because the promised jobs never came.


Multiple CNN hosts slammed Democrat President Joe Biden on Wednesday evening after Biden said during his first press conference in months that elections might be “illegitimate” if his left-wing voting agenda is not passed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated vaccination data from the U.S. Department of Defense and Federal Bureau of Prisons to more accurately reflect the county of residence for the person vaccinated.
Democrat President Joe Biden’s voting agenda failed in the Senate late on Wednesday night after a bipartisan majority opposed Democrats’ extreme push to use the “nuclear option” and gut the filibuster.
With industry need for more skilled workers, Surry County Schools knew one untapped workforce training market was high school students.
I see that Ernie had a fund raiser in Bath Saturday night that was well attended by his staff and a few other people.


Golden LEAF has launched a second round of funding for the SITE Program. Information and applications are available on the website


Back to Top