General Assembly takes aim at IHSA

By WEEK Producer

May 20, 2014 Updated May 20, 2014 at 6:53 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Some members of the Illinois General Assembly were taking aim at the Illinois High School Association on Tuesday while other members were defending the high school sports organization.

Democratic Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia of Aurora questioned how much money the IHSA is making off public school sports... nearly $11 million. She said the IHSA should be more transparent.

Representative Mike Unes questioned her actions.

"This is an organization that is private," Unes said. "What does this mean for other not for profit organizations?"

"Interesting that you bring that up," LaVia said. "I can't name one organization that's a not for profit that has the wide reaching span this organization does."

Bloomington Representative Dan Brady called the hearing a "screwed-up mess", and walked out.

IHSA Director Marty Hickman says the IHSA returned $2.7 million to public schools last year and that the majority of sports sanctioned by the IHSA lose money and are supported by popular sports.

The IHSA investigation gained some traction when a Chicago Sun-Times investigation showed IHSA salaries rose 21-percent last year.

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