Matzie to introduce legislation that would add lawmakers, education secretary as permanent voting members of PIAA executive board

HARRISBURG, Feb. 27 – In response to growing concerns over decisions and policies by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and their impact on student safety, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today that he will be introducing legislation to make lawmakers on the Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee and the state secretary of education permanent voting members of the PIAA executive board.

Matzie, who is vice chairman and longest-serving member of the oversight committee, said the move is justified because of PIAA’s status as a public agency – and necessary given the association’s lack of adequate response to questions and concerns raised by the oversight committee.

“The PIAA is a governmental entity,” Matzie said. “That was settled by the PA Supreme Court last week. It’s appropriate and necessary to bring accountability. Elected members of the legislature are tasked by the state Constitution to answer to and speak on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania. That includes, perhaps most importantly, our children and our schools and – by extension – those participating in junior and senior high sports.

“This legislation has been in the works for some time, but I felt the time was now – based on recent correspondence the PIAA sent on the premise of defending their indefensible competition formula. In reality, the correspondence was a hit job on one school, my school, Aliquippa. It’s abundantly clear that the PIAA would prefer to double down rather than work toward a better system. Their current system is not working, and their evaluation process is, frankly, lazy.”

The Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee, established in 2004, is comprised of six members – two appointed by the speaker of the PA House of Representatives and one appointed by the minority leader of the House; and two appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate and one appointed by the minority leader in the Senate. The PAOC meets annually to review the PIAA’s continued compliance with Act 91 of 2000, respond to issues related to the association’s activities, and issue an annual report of its findings.

A copy of the PIAA’s recent correspondence involving its competition formula is available here:

This is the third piece of legislation Matzie has drafted to reform PIAA policies and practices. In late January, Matzie introduced legislation to resolve problems with the way Pennsylvania’s 1,400 public, private and charter schools are classified to compete in athletic competitions. More about that bill is available here:

Earlier in January, Matzie announced legislation to analyze the policy, practices, finances and structure of the PIAA with an eye toward overhauling how the association operates and makes decisions. More about that legislation is available here: