INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — In an organizational meeting yesterday, representatives of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and PlayOn! Sports (PlayOn) completed all legal and financial arrangements to officially start the NFHS Network.
The NFHS Network is a joint venture between the NFHS and PlayOn to expand coverage of high school sports and performing arts through the Internet at www.NFHSnetwork.com.
During the organizational meeting, a five-person Board of Directors was selected to govern the NFHS Network. Jack Roberts, executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), was selected chair of the NFHS Network Board of Directors. The MHSAA is one of 28 NFHS-member state associations that has joined the NFHS Network.
Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director, and David Rudolph, chief executive officer of PlayOn, were selected vice-presidents of the NFHS Network Board. The other two members selected for the NFHS Network Board were Mark Beckman, executive director of the Montana High School Association (MHSA), and Mark Buffington of Buckhead Investment Partners in Atlanta, Georgia. The MHSA is another member of the NFHS Network. In addition, Robert Rothberg was named chief executive officer of the NFHS Network.
Helping to complete the deal between the NFHS and PlayOn were the law firms of Polsinelli PC of Kansas City, Missouri (NFHS), and Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough LLP of Atlanta, Georgia (PlayOn). Polsinelli is one of the 100 largest law firms in the United States and represents a number of collegiate and other amateur sports organizations. Nelson Mullins was established in 1897 and was led by attorney Donna Lewis, who has represented PlayOn since its inception.
The NFHS Network Board of Directors, which will meet quarterly, will be responsible for establishing the budget, selecting events for the NFHS Network, monitoring the performance of PlayOn and distributing payments to Network members, among many tasks.
In addition to Michigan and Montana, NFHS member associations in the following states will be a part of the NFHS Network as the 2013-14 season begins: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
In addition, member associations in a number of other states are close to completing agreements and are expected to join the NFHS Network soon.