Court: High School Athletic
Group Not a Public Body
Gongwer News Service, March 7, 2003
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The Michigan High School Athletic Association is not a public
body and therefore not subject to the Freedom of Information
Act, a divided Court of Appeals panel ruled Friday.
Judge Pat Donofrio, joined by Judge David Sawyer, held (in
Breighner v. Michigan High School Athletic Association, COA
docket No. 243618) that by any of several tests the body which
oversees high school sports is not required to release
information when requested.
The court ruled the association was not a public body because it
was not created by the state or local governments and was not
required of schools to join, although the vast majority of
school districts in the state do join it.
Dissenting Judge Kathleen Jansen said the organization was a de
facto public body because schools operate tournaments and league
games under its rules and collect funds from the public which
make up the bulk of its funding.
The case revolved around parents who sued the association for
information of athletic rules after their son was ruled
ineligible to compete on his high school ski team.