By Mike Talbert

Daily Journal

While the Mississippi High School Activities Association has been taking steps to stay in compliance with federal Title IX rules, MHSAA Executive Director Ennis Proctor said a shift to local enforcement is ahead.

Proctor made the warning Saturday at the MHSAA District I winter meeting at Tupelo High School.

During the meeting of coaches and school administrators, Proctor also reviewed legislation pending before the Feb.1 MHSAA meeting in Jackson.

He said that a proposal up for a first vote in that meeting for fastpitch softball, along with adding girls soccer and volleyball, “is part of an effort to stay ahead of the game” on Title IX which deals with equal opportunity for females.

“Five years ago we were in trouble statewide on Title IX, but we are in pretty good shape,” Proctor said. “But what I hear now is that the federal government is going to start looking at individual schools.”

Also, two Tupelo coaches were elected to fill spots on MHSAA commitees. A vacancy for the 5A schools on the executive committee was created with the retirement of THS assistant principal Otis Morris. It was filled by Tupelo baseball coach Larry Harmon. Harmon’s place on the MHSAA legislative committee was filled by Tupelo girls basketball coach Sammy Pulliam.

Sites were confirmed for the District I basketball tournaments Feb. 12-16, with Tupelo hosting the Division 2-5A tournament; Tishomingo County Division 1-4A; Bonner Arnold Coliseum at Northeast Community College Division 1-3A; Mooreville Division1-2A; Biggersville Division 1-1A; and Houlka Division 3-1A.

Proctor also said pending legislation would mean that players ejected for sportsmanship violations would be suspended for a total of four quarters for a football game and the equivalent of two complete games in other sports. The suspensions include the the portions of the game that the athlete had to sit out, instead of the suspension starting the next game.

“If there is a flagrant violation, we can still go further than that,” Proctor said.

He also said that baseball rule changes would make a baseball rainout be made up by the next Thursday with division games taking a priority.

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