A temporary truce has been reached between the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and protesters led by the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association. The agreement averts the awkward prospect of the MIAA and the MSTCA staging dueling outdoor state track and field championships this season.
The track coaches, angered by the MIAA’s plan to cut costs and assess fees on so-called non-revenue sports, had made arrangements to hold their own championships for Massachusetts high schools at Merrimack College on May 25 and July 1 — the same dates as the MIAA’s championships.
Leaders of other so-called non-revenue sports governed by the MIAA have been watching carefully, raising the possibility that they also may try to break away.
The truce followed negotiations between William Gaine Jr., the MIAA’s executive director, Frank Mooney, the MSTCA’s executive director, and Wellesley High principal Jamie Chisum, who chairs the MIAA Track and Field Committee.
“We wish to affirm our collective commitment to providing the best experiences for our student-athletes this spring and into the future,” the three wrote in a letter Tuesday afternoon to the state’s high school principals and athletic directors. “To that end, we are pleased to announce the sponsorship of single divisional and all-state track meets.”
The EMass and Central/West divisional championship meets are scheduled for Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26. The All-State championship is slated for Saturday, June 1.
The MIAA said it is committed to the financial investment necessary to procure eight-lane track facilities for all spring meets. The MSTCA will assist in that procurement process. Information regarding locations/times for EMass divisional meets will be released as soon as details are confirmed.
Tourney directors will inspect sites prior to meet days.
Chisum, Mooney, and Gaine acknowledged there have been numerous concerns raised by members of MIAA Track and Field Committee and the track community. Conversations about those concerns, they said, will continue beyond this spring.
“The MSTCA’s list of concerns will be reviewed at the June meeting of the Track and Field Committee and input from non-committee members will be welcomed at that meeting.”
More high school students in Massachusetts participate in the running sports — cross-country and track — than any other sports in MIAA schools, about 60,000 of the total 230,000 participants. The state association governs interscholastic competition for 378 member schools in 33 sports.
The spring tourney directors are scheduled to meet at the MIAA offices in Franklin Wednesday morning.
Correspondent Brandon Chase also contributed.