The South Dakota High School Activities Association apparently doesn't want you to know why they don't like your town for sports events.

Reporter Bob Mercer last week wrote two stories on the association's new chart establishing guidelines that apparently gives negative marks for several smaller communities that want to host sporting events

"The perceived deficiencies covered a wide range, from not enough motel rooms in Aberdeen and Huron, to not enough seating at the Young Center in Spearfish," Mercer writes. "Sturgis was dinged for not having enough restaurants open to feed competitors late at night."

The list, however, wasn't released to those at the meeting where it was discussed, or to Mercer. 

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That's because the association, even though created by the state Legislature, apparently isn't governed by state open records laws. 

"The association was created by the Legislature but doesn’t follow South Dakota laws on public meetings and public records and has claimed its financial audits are private," Mercer writes in a follow-up.

"Audience members weren’t allowed to have a copy of the deficiency report Wednesday," he writes later on in the story. "Carney declined to provide a copy of the chart to a reporter Thursday."

Thus, the peasants in these smaller communities who stand to lose by these new guidelines aren't allowed to see how this "controversial issue" is being approached by those in power. 

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Contact Joe O'Sullivan at 394-8414 or joe.osullivan@rapidcityjournal.com

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