A MESSAGE FROM AIA EXECUTIVE BOARD PRESIDENT DOUG WILSON ON BEHALF OF THE AIA EXECUTIVE BOARD
PHOENIX, AZ (July 4, 2014) – On June 11, Harold Slemmer and I sent out a memorandum to our member schools regarding the need to raise certain AIA fees in order to maintain interscholastic sports/activities for our state's high schools. This was done in conjunction with expense and overhead reductions within AIA overhead and tournament operations.
Discussion among board members began in April of this year. There is often commentary and media attention after a decision by the Executive Board is made. Mr. Schmidt speaks on behalf of the Association per the direction of the Board. The Board has and continues to support Mr. Schmidt, his efforts and trust in responding to the media. Often this commentary seems to be made missing some important facts.
The Executive Board is comprised of representatives from Arizona member schools. Board meetings are open and meeting minutes are available to its member schools and the public. Member schools must realize that they are always invited to participate and share opinions. Having said that, as a member association, the organization must be run efficiently which is why member representatives vote on behalf of their constituents. No decision or action will ever unanimously please member schools and yet, decisions and actions are thought through to create the best possible outcomes.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) provides an important educational opportunity and life experience to Arizona high school students. Interscholastic programs including personnel and venues require funding. The AIA runs more than 4,000 High School Championship events and provides officials for more than 40,000 regular season games. Along with scholarships, education like Brainbook and ongoing training, the AIA is providing valuable services to its member schools and more importantly, the nearly 100,000 students involved in interscholastic activities. These services have hard costs associated with them. As a non-profit, the AIA is not attempting to create a profit and makes every effort to cut costs, negotiate with vendors and reduce expenses. To suggest otherwise, is simply to create unnecessary fodder and angst.
As the President of the AIA Executive Board, I invite all member schools to engage in a positive and meaningful way that demonstrates that this is an association of member schools striving for the best possible interscholastic opportunities for our students. I also want to admonish members of the press and the public to refrain from placing blame on individuals when in fact, they are speaking on behalf of the Executive Board representing its member schools.
About the Arizona Interscholastic Association:
The AIA, is voluntary association of public and private Arizona high schools. Since 1913, the organization has created and sustained interscholastic activities that encourage maximum student participation by providing AIA member schools with an even playing field to ensure fair and equitable competition. The AIA believes that providing interscholastic activities for Arizona high school students creates personal development opportunities with a balanced focus on academics and extracurricular activities.
Through its member schools, the AIA reaches nearly 100,000 participants in high school activity programs. The organization hosts 4,000 championship contests and maintains officiating for more than 45,000 regular season games.