Press "Enter" to skip to content

GOAC Begins SDHSAA Summer of Persecution Tuesday

Ken Santema notices that the Government Operations and Audit Committee is meeting Tuesday in Pierre. 2014’s most baloneyful committee quietly takes up, among other things, the most recent audit of the South Dakota High School Activities Association.

Wait a minute: didn’t the Legislature decide to convene a special interim committee on that topic? Must GOAC pile on as well?

Mr. Santema reminds us that our legislators can’t pass up a chance to bully the SDHSAA because of their decent, respectful, and properly balanced transgender participation policy. Yet Santema takes his own poke at the activities association (which is holding State Girls Golf, State B Boys Golf, and State Boys Tennis this week) for allegedly ruling high school activities with too iron a fist:

Personally I think the legislature should give up on the one issue, and listen to the many athletic directors in school districts around the state that believe the SDHSAA has gotten too powerful. Instead of focusing on a single issue, focus on bring the organization back to working for the schools [Ken Santema, “GOAC Meeting in Pierre on Tues May 19,” SoDakLiberty, 2015.05.17].

I’m curious to hear the ways in which athletic directors feel the SDHSAA exercises too much power. I am also curious to hear why my conservative Libertarian neighbor in the blogosphere thinks the Legislature can aptly replace the SDHSAA in exercising that power.


  1. Nick Nemec 2015-05-18 10:10

    You’re darn right the SDHSAA has too much authority. Why? Because they set rules! We want to play the game however we want. Uniform rules violate our right to play the game how we want. The SDHSAA is nothing more than a bunch of fascist, communistic dictators imposing their rules on freedom loving South Dakota children. Don’t tread on me SDHSAA!

  2. rollin potter 2015-05-18 10:16

    Maybe the boys should take another trip to the red sox game and forget????? to reimburse the state for it!!!!!!!!

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-18 10:32

    Rollin, the SDHSAA caught that error and fixed it. Does it reflect poor management of state tournaments?

    Nick, you put it well. Do we want well-run state tournaments? Do we think Corey Brown and Brock Greenfield could run better state tournaments?

    If the schools are really unhappy with the SDHSAA, they could just dissolve the organization and focus entirely on intramural sports. Statewide that would save a few million dollars for K-12 education… but it would also kill opportunities for kids to perform and compete in their chosen activities in most Class B and some Class A and AA schools.

  4. Ken Santema 2015-05-18 11:17

    Overall it’s not a topic I have a lot of interest in. But I’ve spoken with some athletic directors from small school districts that feel the SDHSAA does not even pretend to listen to them anymore. If that is true I can’t say, but they feel it is true.

    I don’t think there is a legislative fix. But I do think looking into those allegations would be less of a waste of time than worrying about gender related issues.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-18 11:28

    But Ken, what would the Legislature do about those allegations? If there is no Legislative fix, is there any reason for the Legislature to investigate?

  6. Ken Santema 2015-05-18 11:42

    That would go back to whether the legislature should be involved in HSAA at all. Personally I don’t see a reason for it. But due to the origins of the organization there are arguments that can be made for the legislature to provide oversight.

  7. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-05-18 16:24

    “GOAC Begins SDHSAA Summer of Persecution Tuesday.”

    Well there is a provocative post title! Cory, tell us what you really feel.

    I should probably know how GOAC members are chosen. By the gov? Legis? Judging by their investigation/whitewash of the EB5 crimes, I believe we can safely conclude that this little board is completely ethically compromised. Therefore, Cory’s headline is perfectly accurate. Good job Cory!

  8. 96Tears 2015-05-18 18:50

    GOAC proved itself to be a ridiculous joke. These are the guys who would wonder if the deck chairs were still lined up correctly while the Titanic sank.

  9. Charlie Hoffman 2015-05-19 08:46

    Ken, you really agree to this:
    “Mr. Santema reminds us that our legislators can’t pass up a chance to bully the SDHSAA because of their decent, respectful, and properly balanced transgender participation policy.”
    Who are they respecting?
    This is laughable……………
    Legalized, decent, respectful, and properly balanced “Sex with Animals” is only a flag or two and a support group away.

  10. larry kurtz 2015-05-19 09:06

    Charlie: you make me puke.

  11. Nick Nemec 2015-05-19 09:15

    Charlie, your slippery slope argument doesn’t hold up.

  12. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-05-19 15:41

    There we have Charlie’s own, personal sexual issues and idiocy on full display.

    Charlie, don’t you know the “sex with animals” meme has always been the first line of offense(iveness) from the ignorant and fearful? Even the rabidly anti groups like the Family Research Council and J Dobson have given up on that silly remark. You just sank your credibility like it was tied to a millstone.

  13. Roger Cornelius 2015-05-19 16:17

    Sex with animals?

    Perhaps Charlie Hoffman would share his experiences.

  14. Craig 2015-05-19 17:02

    Sorry Charlie – although you may have a really smart dog, I’m guessing that dog lacks the intelligence to enter into a mutual agreement with a human being.

    If you ever find a dog capable of consistently scoring above 50% on 1st grade standardized tests however… you just let me know.

    Also, in case you feel like making another idiotic analogy, children also lack the mental ability of entering into agreements or contracts which is why minors aren’t afforded the same rights as adults.

  15. Charlie Hoffman 2015-05-19 19:02

    Deb, Roger & Craig; Chemically or surgically cutting out the Sexual organs one was born with and chemically or surgically replacing them with alternate sexual organs is something you will hopefully advertise everywhere a practice I abhor. Thank You in advance.

  16. larry kurtz 2015-05-19 19:03

    Go home, Charlie: you’re embarrassing yourself and your gender.

  17. jerry 2015-05-19 19:06

    In the brown bag again Charlie?

  18. Roger Cornelius 2015-05-19 19:31

    Charlie Hoffman can abhor all he wants sex change operations, they aren’t about him, they are about the people that need or want them.

    It is none of his business unless he is himself confused.

  19. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-05-19 21:33

    That’s the thing Charlie, what Roger said. How you feel about transsexual people is irrelevant, except when you start publicly saying cruel things about them. Leave them alone, and whenever you talk with your friends be sure to expound on your issues with transsexualism to your heart’s content.

    BTW, I don’t understand the feeling of being transgender that some people have. I’m very happy to be a woman. So? That has nothing to do with how anyone else feels about their gender, nor does their transgenderism have anything to do with my satisfaction with my gender.

    So Charlie, why do you care about someone else’s life? Someone you will never, ever meet or have any contact with? (Extremely unlikely.) They certainly don’t give a rip about you in any way. That’s what makes several us wonder if you have sexual issues that you get so upset about people completely unknown to you. At the very least, your behavior in this matter is definitely weird.

  20. Charlie Hoffman 2015-05-19 22:13

    We need SDHSAA board certified rulings accepting Transgender students in SD’s sports; but lF anyone has an opinion against thIs policy THEY :: again THEY; have sexual issues???

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-19 22:17

    Charlie, the policy is balanced and respectful. It provides an exemption for private religious schools who may share something like your abhorrence for transgender students.

    I am curious, though: does your abhorrence stem just from the surgery, Charlie? Do you object to trying to change the physical attributes with which one was born, no matter how ill-formed or unsuitable to one’s psyche those attributes may be? I speak from ignorance here, but I would assume that a lot of the students (a majority? nearly all?) to whom the SDHSAA’s transgender applies have not reached the age where such surgery or chemical alteration is wise or even allowed. So if we’re really going to punish the SDHSAA for promoting some kind of sin, the sin we’re talking about is by and large a state of mind.

    Don’t forget, though, we’re talking about one policy, a reasonably fair and rarely invoked policy, provoking the Legislature to dedicate an entire summer study to the SDHSAA. How necessary is this summer study?

  22. Roger Cornelius 2015-05-19 22:18

    Charlie Hoffman,

    No one here expressed their disdain for particular sexual issues except you.

    If you object to discriminate against transgender students, you need a better reason than it makes you feel icky.

  23. Roger Cornelius 2015-05-19 22:27


    The South Dakota legislature’s war on transgender students reminds of Bush’s declared war on Iraq, built on a faulty premise of WMD’s.

    Given that students are underage, as you suggest, this transgender thing would only apply those 18 years or older, how many students would subject themselves to some humiliation when they are likely days away from graduation?

    So, if the impact of transgender is rather minimal, why the fuss or better yet, what is their real intent? Is it so the SDHSAA doesn’t insecure men feel icky?

  24. grudznick 2015-05-19 23:15

    Just abolish the SDHSAA and be done with it. Leave the legions of transgendered students alone and let the market dictate where basketball tournies are held. So sayeth grudznick.

  25. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-05-19 23:50

    Charlie said, “lF anyone has an opinion against thIs policy THEY :: again THEY; have sexual issues???”

    That’s a quick walking back of what you really said. You drew a correlation between people who are transgender and animals: “Sex with Animals” is only a flag or two and a support group away.”

    Those words are what makes me wonder about your sexual issues. If you had simply stated you are opposed to a transgender policy, that would be very different.

  26. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-05-19 23:54

    You know, I can think of opposition that might be based on ignorance that would be very understandable. Or perhaps a concern that the transgender student is not old enough or of sufficient maturity to make such a decision. Maybe a transgender adult pressured the student.

    But no Charlie, you went straight to hateful language. For shame.

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-20 06:04

    Grudz, you sound like one of these cranky, paranoid legislators, looking for an excuse to abolish the SDHSAA. Do you think state tournaments just happen all by themselves? School districts created the organization to ensure the proper management of such events. Your comment is extreme, short-sighted, and apparently intended just to provoke a reaction. Sigh.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-20 06:08

    Roger, I appreciate the comparison of this GOP war to the search for WMDs, both based on falsehood and paranoia.

    The transgender issue does apply to a minority of students. However, my impression is that only a minority of that minority is involved in the surgery and drug treatments that so appall Charlie. With my questions above, I’m just trying to get at the heart of Charlie’s deep revulsion: is it the changes individuals make to their physical bodies, or is it the mindset?

    If Charlie is bothered by the physical changes, then we open up a whole line of questioning about what physical modifications to one’s body Charlie finds abominable. Is cosmetic surgery o.k.? How about liposuction? Body piercing? Working out to change a flabby or scrawny body into a buff body? Kristi Noem’s haircut?

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-20 06:11

    Deb rightfully scolds Charlie for going straight for hateful language. No one at SDHSAA is petitioning for locker room space for bestiality.

    By the way, standardized tests do more demonstrable damage to students than the transgender policy.

  30. mike from iowa 2015-05-20 06:51

    Are these private religious schools getting public tax dollars for their students?

  31. Ken Santema 2015-05-20 08:16

    Cory, maybe I am mistaken. But I thought SDHSAA was created by the legislature via SDCL. I don’t think this this can be counted as an organization purely created by the high schools. If I remember right the SDHSAA employees utilize SDRS. I remember that was part of why the legislature was going after the SDHSAA so hard last year when the organization refused to follow open records laws.

  32. Dave 2015-05-20 08:17

    Next session expect Charlie to sponsor a bill banning donkey basketball.

  33. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-20 09:57

    The SDHSAA is a tricky legal creature to understand, Ken.

    The SDHSAA has been organizing contests since 1905, when it mostly ran track events. It became its current activities association, governing athletics and arts/academics activities in the 1960s.

    I’m not sure when the Legislature passed its first laws on this topic, but in 1964, the Legislature enacted SDCL 13-36-4, which authorizes school districts to delegate their activities decision-making to a non-profit organization (not specifically the SDHSAA) that meets certain guidelines. Schools decide what organization to join. Schools elect the SDHSAA board. Schools vote on the SDHSAA constitution and can vote on rule changes.

    The Legislature did not create the SDHSAA and does not fund it, even indirectly. Well over 90% of SDHSAA’s funding comes from event ticket sales and sponsors.

  34. Ken Santema 2015-05-20 11:09

    Right, I remember that being part of the testimony in 2014 now. (trying to work purely off memory isn’t the best way to go).

    The question now though is whether the legislature can or should make policies the SDHSAA has to follow. This new attempt to overturn the transgender policy is not the first time the legislature has mucked around in directing the SDHSAA. I’ve seen arguments that the legislature shouldn’t be implementing a policy (or anti-policy) on transgender students in sports because the SDHSAA is a private organization. Yet I didn’t see those same arguments when the legislature tried to make changes in other areas of SDHSAA policies. An example of this year was the attempt to keep anyone that leaves public school for alternatives can’t participate in SDHSAA activities for one full school year. (SB133 luckily didn’t gain any momentum).

    Another question is whether the SDHSAA is funded indirectly through the state. As far as I know the SDHSAA is the only nonprofit allowed to enter into the SDRS.

    Personally I don’t think the State should have any involvement with SDHSAA. But right or wrong there is legislative connections between the two because of the organization utilizing SDCL 13-36-4. Some could see that connection as authority for the SDHSAA to be controlled via legislation, and some could see it the other way.

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-20 11:51

    Thanks for that link, Larry! Alas, Rep. Heinemann gets the Flandreau school board to act like yahoos.

  36. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-20 11:53

    Ken, I wish I had some good examples of other private organizations statutorily authorized in the same way as SDHSAA. Are there other examples that would help us understand the proper legal relationship?

  37. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-05-20 23:20

    I think the Lessard Sams Heritage Council in MN might be similar, but not identical. It came about as a result of a constitutional amendment passed by popular vote in 2012. The board administers funds from a dedicated tax for wildlife, natural resources and heritage. The board only includes 2 legislators. Republican legislators have tried to change the makeup so they have more power over it. So far they’ve failed. The council recommends how the money is to be allocated. The legislature has usually followed that, but since Republicans took over the House, they’re trying to ignore the council. Damn Republicans.

  38. Lynn 2015-05-20 23:26


    Can you elaborate what you fear may happen in schools with your remarks above?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.