The Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor on Wednesday approved a request to conduct a full legislative audit of the Minnesota State High School League.

The request, made by state Rep. Bob Dettmer in early February, is expected to focus on student eligibility, a topic that draws considerable public attention.

Dettmer, a former longtime wrestling coach at Forest Lake High School, requested the audit after being made aware that the league had not been audited since 1998.

“I thought it was time to take another look at their policies,” said Dettmer, a Republican from Forest Lake.

“The Legislature does have oversight over the MSHSL. I have no ax to grind, and I’ve always had a good relationship with the league.”

The league is classified by Minnesota statute as a “nonprofit corporation that is a voluntary association.” It is not a state agency and does not receive direct funding from the Legislature. Schools pay an annual membership fee of $100 and an additional $90 for each high school league sport or activity they sponsor.

A background paper compiled by the auditor’s office said the focus would be on the “transparency of league actions regarding student eligibility.”

Areas of possible scrutiny include the league’s use of its rule-making authority and consistency and timeliness of its actions.

“These audits aren’t intended to be negative,” said Judy Randall, Deputy Legislative Auditor of the Program Evaluation Division. “These audits often have positive results.”

Calls to the league offices and David Stead, the league’s executive director, were not immediately returned.

The audit is not expected to be completed until later this year. Results will be presented to the Legislature at next year’s session.