Membership Conducts 128th Annual Meeting; NIL Amendment Fails to Pass

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Membership Conducts 128th Annual Meeting; NIL Amendment Fails to Pass

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Membership Conducts 128th Annual Meeting; NIL Amendment Fails to Pass

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The member schools of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association passed two amendments, defeated a much-deliberated Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) proposal, and conducted other membership business at the 128th Annual Meeting at the Sentry Insurance Theater today.

The membership voted 170-219 to reject the proposed NIL language that would have allowed student-athletes to engage in promotion and revenue opportunities and activities not associated or identified with their school team, school, conference or the WIAA, which included a number of prohibited NIL activities. 

Executive Director Stephanie Hauser indicated the failed vote does not end the discussions on NIL. “We will continue this conversation with our membership in response to the trend across the nation with other high school associations allowing some opportunities for Name, Image, Likeness,” she said. “The Annual Meeting vote is evidence of the ownership the membership has in the democratic process. 

“The WIAA staff provides information, rationale and possible unintended consequences,” she added, “but it’s ultimately up to each member school to determine how to cast its vote.” 

The two amendments that passed by the membership affect the membership’s Bylaws. The first allows schools to use their resources and coaches to conduct developmental programming during the school year but outside the designated sport season for students in eighth grade or below, which remains prohibited for students in grades 9-12. The membership approved the amendment by a 381-9 vote.

The second Bylaw amendment permits member schools to submit one unedited video clip for review by the executive staff if a school believes the wrong player has been identified in an ejection and to assist in identifying the correct student-athlete to serve the ejection suspension. The amendment passed by a 387-1 vote.

In the Director’s Report, Hauser expressed the focus of the membership will be moving education-based athletics forward and adapting to changes in the interscholastic athletics landscape. She said by working together on existing and future plans, continuous improvement is encouraged and expected. 

She highlighted recent achievements to reinforce what has been accomplished by the membership working toward a common goal, including tripling girls wrestling participation in three years, the first-ever WIAA lacrosse championships this spring, the launching of the WIAA Student Leadership Team, the establishment of a number of ad hoc committees, as well as the reinstatement of the Media Advisory Committee. Hauser also identified a number of membership challenges that will be reviewed and addressed, including season lengths, game maximums and coaching contact; the retention of WIAA-licensed officials; and the continued exploration of establishing a WIAA Foundation. 

The executive staff responded to 12 pre-submitted requests addressing seven open forum topics, including inquiries about 8-player football; basketball divisional placements; competitive balance performance factor; NIL; impact of code violations on tournament eligibility; and the current study of season lengths, season game maximums, and coaching contact. 

Michael Turner of Hartford Union High School was recognized as the Wisconsin Spirit of Sport Award recipient, sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. Also recognized were the representatives of the 30 schools that received the WIAA Award of Excellence in 2022-23.

In the 2024-25 Board of Control elections, Nathan Lehman, the district administrator at Stratford was elected for a three-year term on the Board as the District 2 representative. Kurt Cohen, the superintendent at Potosi, was elected to serve a three-year term representing District 5. Jill Stobber, the athletic and activities administrator at Waterford, was re-elected to a three-year term as the gender minority at-large representative.

In the 2024-25 Advisory Council elections, James Darin, the principal at Mukwonago, was re-elected to a three-year term as a large school representative. Jon Vollendorf, the principal at Stevens Point Area Senior High, was also elected to a three-year term representing large schools. Michael Foley, the principal at Platteville, was elected to serve a three-year term as a medium school representative. The two small school representatives that will begin three-terms are Turtle Lake Superintendent Kent Kindschy, who was re-elected for a second term, and Brian Zacho, the superintendent at Randolph. Peggy Larson, the superintendent at Winneconne, was re-elected to serve as the gender at-large representative on the Advisory Council, and Michael Lambrecht, the principal at Columbus Catholic, will serve a three-year term as the nonpublic school at-large representative on the Advisory Council.

Approximately 453 representatives from 393 schools attended the meeting. The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 515 senior high schools and 43 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. 

# WIAA #




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