© 2022 NPR Illinois
Stand with the Facts
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Click here to be "In the know." Subscribe to the NPR Illinois Daily newsletter.

Lawmakers Call For Transparency From IHSA


  The organization that coordinates Illinois high school sports and activities was under scrutiny Tuesday in Springfield. Lawmakers want the Illinois High School Association to be more transparent, but the not-for-profit group is pushing back.

While Illinois high schools are not required to become IHSA members, the organization does run the major statewide competitions.

Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) says he's worried about the de facto requirement to participate in IHSA, since the private organization makes money off its members. He says since most IHSA members are public high schools, the group's money comes from tax dollars, without much state oversight.

"It's a quasi-public entity that feeds, that generates over $11 million every year," he said. "They should have a FOIA. If they're benefiting from public — the contracts we should see, the relationships, absolutely, what's wrong with that?"

But Marty Hickman, IHSA's executive director, says the organization's current level of transparency aligns with other not-for-profits, known as 501(c)(3)s.

"I don't see there's any reason for IHSA specifically to act differently than any other 501(c)(3)," he said."

Asked whether he's against putting IHSA under more direct state jurisdiction, Hickman would not say.

Hannah covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and Illinois Public Radio. She's been dedicated to the statehouse beat since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with subsequent stops at outlets including WILL-AM/FM, Law360, The Daily Line and a temporary stint at political blog Capitol Fax before returning to the station in 2020.
Related Stories