Wilson County School Board allowed sports clubs at the high schools to keep using the school name Tuesday, as long as they obtained 501(c)3 status.
“We are really hopeful that this will solve the problem,” said Mt. Juliet High School Swim Coach Sue Copeland.
The school board had planned to not allow the clubs to use the school names because they are not officially affiliated with the school system because they are not recognized by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Association. Swimming, hockey and lacrosse are all sports clubs at local high schools that aren’t recognized by the TSSAA.
“No one really approached us or told us,” said Copeland of the decision when it originally surfaced. She said that caused some panic among the parents. Copeland talked with Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall, who confirmed that the clubs would no longer be able to use the school name. Copeland told him that their governing body would not allow them to compete without the school name, so Hall confirmed that with the governing body.
“We or I, as a board member, was never really informed of your issues,” said School Board Member Greg Lasater at the meeting Tuesday.
Copeland said the 501(c)3 should work for the MJHS Swim Club. Wilson Central’s Swim Club has been a 501(c)3 since 2004. Copeland said Williamson County club sports went through the same situation a few years ago.
“It’s going to require a little more time and attention,” said Copeland, because they will now have to elect a board, president and treasurer. “Whatever lets the kids get in the water.”
“That relieves us of all liability and lets you use the school name,” Director of Schools Mike Davis said at the meeting Tuesday of the 501(c)3. “I think we can put something together to sign to say you’re going to move forward with that.”
Davis asked Wilson Central Swim Coach Alex Major to help the other clubs with the establishing of the 501(c)3 and the board would help to make the transition smooth.
Story was written with the help of Wilson Post Staff Writer Patrick Hall.