OSAA changes media credential policy after allegations of inappropriate contact


Three students at Grant High School in Portland wrote an article making allegations of inappropriate messages between a website and social media publisher and teenage girls. It’s prompted the Oregon School Activities Association to make changes to its media credentialing policy.

“We didn’t really have any codified media policy,” said OSAA Director Peter Weber. “I mean we had some procedures and stuff that we have, but we didn’t have anything in our board policy, so we went to our legal council and said hey, what should we be doing in these situations.

“With the proliferation of social media and websites and the ease for people to be ‘new media,’ that is becoming harder and harder to draw that distinction,” said Weber.

RELATED: La Pine offsets referee shortage with officials mentorship program

RELATED: Local basketball referee shortage causes month-long schedule changes

The allegations were made by three high school journalists in a written article recently released in the Grant High School magazine. They wrote and shared screenshots of private messages from the Elite Oregon Girls website operator.

The girls claim those conversations crossed the line on several occasions.

The website and social media accounts strictly covered Oregon girls’ high school athletics.

Now the OSAA is creating stricter policies.

“Have they been doing coverage?” Weber said. “Do they have a need for access, sideline at a soccer or football contest or down by the court for volleyball or basketball, things like that? Are they consistently covering high school sports?”

This past May, the Salem-Keizer school district banned the Elite Oregon Girls’ site operator, who is in his late 20’s. from all school properties. The OSAA was notified in June and revoked the man’s pass this week.

“If there is a concern that arises and we have communication or we look into it and determine there is a concern, then people are clear that we have the ability to say ‘No, we are going to pull that back’ or we are not going to issue it in the future or what have you. That fits into that safety piece as well,” said Weber.

Weber says it’s also up to the school districts to create and enforce their own access policies.

Website and social media activity show the owner of Oregon Elite Girls has moved his operations to Ohio, running a similar style site, strictly covering junior college female athletes.

He has posted on social media that he may take legal action, hinting at defamation.


Top Local Stories