Roger Dearing, Executive Director of the FHSAA, joined the Joe Rose Show on 560 WQAM and talked about the “School Choice Bill”.

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A Florida Senate education panel approved a bill Monday that would give parents the opportunity to pick any school in the state for their child, whether for academic or athletic reasons.

Florida is the only state that has this kind of legislation.

Needless to say, Dearing was highly critical of the bill as he feels it will create “stacking” of sports teams.

Here are some of Dearing’s comments while appearing on the Joe Rose Show.

On the bill:

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“Part of the American ethic is fair play; balance and fair play and rules.  This just takes all those out the window. Kids can now go participate in any school they want to…it’s really contrary to American Values, we think.”

On the congressional leaders who pushed this bill though the state legislature:

“I had a great conversation with [State Rep] Manny Diaz.   I thought at many points, we were on the same page.  I told him that coaches agree that kids ought to be able to play their sports and pursue their dreams. But, there has to be some type of regulations, rules, organized process so you don’t get the stacking [of teams]. I guess we differ on that point.  Manny and [State Rep] Marlene O’Toole out of Central Florida, they’re basically the ones in the house that are pushing the contents of this bill.”

“I think these are well meaning people.  But, to me, they’re people who’ve never played organized sports and understand the rules of the game and fair play.  They just don’t get it.  They’re whole thing is ‘let the kids play anywhere, anytime…whatever they want to do, let them do it.’  It’s not real life, is it?”


According to Dearing, an aide of Rep. Diaz contacted him following the interview and informed Dearing that Diaz felt the interview was negative towards the representative.  The aide then informed Dearing that Diaz has the support to introduce a bill to disbar the FHSAA.

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Dearing claims to be working with lobbyists to combat this issue.