Florida House Bill 1279, which would force changes to the Florida High School Athletic Association and potentially close it down in 2017, took another step forward Tuesday with state representatives voting to adopt amendments to a bill sponsored by Lake County Rep. Larry Metz (R-Yalaha).
The bill makes students eligible for athletics if they transfer with the approval of a district school board or private school where they enroll.
“We’re trying to change the philosophical orientation of this organization (FHSAA) so that they’re not always presuming guilt,” Metz said during the hearing.
In debate on the amendment, Rep. Kevin Rader (D-Delray Beach) raised comments by a couple of high school coaches that the bill would lead to "free agency."
"This non-profit organization's actually doing a pretty good job and we shouldn't meddle in their affairs," said Rader.
To become law bills must pass both the House and Senate before the May 3 close of the legislative session and be signed by Gov. Rick Scott.
Buddy Collings is a senior sports writer covering high schools for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.