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Tuesday, April 25, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Metro delays decision on Chief Sealth girls team

A decision by the Metro League on whether to punish Chief Sealth's girls basketball program for recruiting violations will be delayed until the league's principals determine whether they have to conduct their deliberations in public.

A committee of principals from each of the league's 13 schools had planned to meet Monday at Seattle School District headquarters to discuss findings by the district that Chief Sealth's coaches improperly recruited players.

The committee has the authority to force the school to forfeit league games, which could lead to Chief Sealth having to surrender its two Class 3A state championships, won this year and last.

The Seattle Times on Friday asked the committee to open the meeting, citing the state's Open Public Meetings Act. The state law says that, with few exceptions, public agencies cannot deliberate in private. The Times argued that the principals group, called the Metropolitan Activities Executive Committee (MAEC), is subject to the law because it acts on behalf of a public agency when it rules on student-athlete eligibility issues.

The principals committee, which has traditionally closed its meetings to the public, decided Monday to obtain legal advice on interpreting the meetings act.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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