GHSA director Phillips to retire

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GHSA Executive Director Gary Phillips officially agreed to retire Monday during a Called Meeting of the Executive Committee Monday at the Thomaston-Upson Civic Center.

The GHSA unanimously approved a proposal from the executive committee on Monday that will pay Phillips’ salary and benefits through the 2017-18 school year.

He will retire from the job this summer.

Phillips agreed to retire to appease Georgia legislators, who have proposed bills in the state house and state senate to replace the GHSA with a new statewide governing body that would operate under the state board of education.

On Monday, the original recommendation from the board of trustees, which called for his resignation, was unanimously rejected by the 66-member executive committee as a symbolic gesture of respect.

Phillips, who has been the executive director of the GHSA for three years, released a statement on Monday.

In that statement, Phillips said, “Because of the respect I have for the GHSA and the faith that I have in the job that we are doing, my initial inclination was to fight to the bitter end. This, however, would benefit no one, including the student-athletes whom we are supposed to serve and my family, who has been devastated by the events of the past two weeks.”

State senator Bruce Thompson from Bartow County is the author of one of the bills that has been proposed eliminating the GHSA in favor of a yet-to-be-determined organization. 

He said last week that Phillips resigning would be a start, but it would take other changes by the GHSA to deter the state congress from going through with the legislation to replace the GHSA.