NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Starting immediately, the 4,500 or so individuals who officiate interscholastic athletics in Tennessee schools will have to pass background checks.
The governing board for the schools, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) voted unanimously late Thursday morning to begin the process.
A TSSAA spokesperson said a letter to all the game officials is going out Thursday informing them of the decision and the process that will follow.
Information is also expected “within a week” on the TSSAA website where officials must register.
Board members stressed the background checks conducted by a private company will be done yearly and nationwide for “critieria set by state law.”
Criteria mentioned during a short debate included such things as sexual offenses, arson, and drug abuse.
Those who renew their registration will be charged a fee to pay for the background check which could range anywhere from $5-to-$35 dollars according to TSSAA officials but likely around $10.
A clamor for background checks began earlier this year when it was revealed that a football referee involved in a game scuffle at Nashville’s Glencliff High had an undisclosed statutory rape charge.