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Representative Council Authorizes MHSAA AD Mentorship Program at Winter Meeting

EAST LANSING, MI– April 3 – The creation of a mentorship network of past athletic administrators to assist those currently in the field was among actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its annual Winter Meeting on March 24 in East Lansing.
The “AD Connection Program” was approved for two pilot program years and will enlist six past administrators from across the state to serve as sources of support and input for current athletic directors in charge of programs across the more than 1,500 MHSAA-member high schools and junior high/middle schools. The program is set to begin with the 2023-24 school year and previously was approved by the MHSAA Audit & Finance Committee.
The Council also approved a revamping of the MHSAA’s series of annual awards presented to educational and athletic leaders, based on the work of an awards task force convened to restructure the awards process and rebrand the yearly honors to provide greater understanding of what they celebrate. Current awards include the Women In Sports Leadership Award, Charles E. Forsythe Award (for lifetime achievement), Allen W. Bush Award (for unsung contributions) and the Vern L. Norris Award (for leadership and mentorship in officiating). Additionally, the Council approved the creation of a Champion of Progress Award named for retired assistant director Nate Hampton, who ended his 32-year tenure at the MHSAA after the 2020-21 school year. The Champion of Progress Award will recognize those who provide leadership in the advancement of underrepresented groups in educational athletics.
The Winter Meeting also frequently serves as an opportunity for the Council to discuss items expected to come up for action at its final meeting of the school year, scheduled for May 7-8, and three topics received the majority of conversation.
The Council discussed work undertaken recently by a Football Task Force charged with examining regular-season scheduling issues and various playoff format ideas circulating in the school sports community. The task force was comprised of members of the Council, Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) leadership, Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) officers and MHSAA staff.
The Council was presented with feedback on CPR and AED requirements and the need for renewed emphasis on local Emergency Action Plans from the MHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC). Discussion of CPR requirements at the junior high/middle school level will be among agenda items at the May Council meeting.
MHSAA staff also provided results of the bi-annual survey of leagues and conferences that produced the range of regular-season officiating fees being paid for each sport. The Council discussed the effects, especially budgetary, on schools as they seek to secure local officiating for all levels of all of their sports.
The Representative Council is the legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.

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