Private schools should take their football and leave

    Well, so much for the notion of, at the very least, a partial reunification of the Louisiana state football playoffs. On a Thursday afternoon in late January, high school principals slammed the door shut on that in a vote of all five football-playing classes.
    I asked Mandeville High School principal Bruce Bundy the following: “Do you think that recruiting is rampant?” He then answered: “Yes.”
    Bundy’s blunt assessment, whether you agree or not, was a true barometer of the widening chasm between the public schools and the private schools in the LHSAA. In one year, more schools voted to keep split football playoffs.
    And, in a way, this is good.
    Private schools who voted for reunification in classes 5A and 4A knew there was no chance that the same measure would pass in 3A (where John Curtis currently resides).
    To have several classes playing together and some not would have been blatant segregation, something the private schools have railed against in this process.
    So, what’s the next move? Pretty simple: Split in all sports. It’s time for the private schools to move on. It’s time to understand that the public schools have kicked you out, and you are not coming back.
    Not all public schools feel that the “split” is a good thing. Over the past year, I have spoken to dozens of public school coaches who have said they don’t like it. But they aren’t running high school sports anymore. Coaches used to leave the field and someday turn into principals. Those folks are no longer the norm; they are an anomaly.
    So, you private schools who complain about the public schools not wanting to compete, I have a question: Where is your competitive spirit? You have been backed into a corner by the majority. They are not letting you out. It’s time to forget about what is fair and what is not, and get on with it.
    Get that list of the schools that voted to keep the split and those who voted against it. Eliminate the latter from your schedule; schedule those who voted with you.
    Last spring and summer, I was amazed at how little blowback there was from private schools about their current situation. It was as though, somehow, with a year to think about it, the whole thing would blow over like some weak tropical storm. It’s not.
    What’s ironic is some private schools like the current setup. It is an easier path to the Superdome.
    “Everyone should have a chance to get to the Superdome,” people say. I hear it all the time.
    Getting to the Superdome Classic should be incredibly difficult. Jesuit has never been. Neither has St. Augustine. Ruston, winners of eight state football titles, hasn’t won one since 1990. Kentwood, winner of seven titles, hasn’t won a championship since 1998. And, the last time I checked, David Currier is still one of the best football coaches in the state.
    “State champion” is now, in Louisiana, a diluted football term. It’s time for the private schools to stand up – and walk out.
    Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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