It's time for private schools to bid adios to the LHSAA
Your move, private schools.
Sixty percent of the principals in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association voted to expand the split of the playoffs to basketball, baseball and softball beginning in the 2016-17 school year.
Three years ago, when the football split was voted in, I heard from many private school coaches and administrators that cooler heads would eventually prevail and that there was a solution to be found.
Here’s your solution: Nah, nah, nah, nah, hey, hey, hey, goodbye! Form your own league.
For the most part your schools have more cash, more resources and bigger fan bases. Or, you can do what you have done the last three years: Sit there and take it.
Or accept a proposal that will be something like this: The private schools play in a separate league but still under the umbrella of the LHSAA.
Does this mean you still have to send 10 percent of your playoff gate receipts, before expenses, to the LHSAA?
Does this mean, even if you put 25,000 people in the stands for the Division I football championship, like Jesuit and John Curtis did in December 2014, that each school receives less than $10,000 in payout?
Does this mean, that even though you won’t compete in the playoffs against public schools, you will still play by their rules?
Well ... yes, yes and yes.
Since the vote happened on Jan. 29, several coaches have said they won’t schedule any public school that voted for the split. In many cases, this has already happened in football.
One example was Rummel. The Raiders’ regular-season games against Hahnville and Acadiana were classics. But, in 2015, neither the Tigers nor the Wreckin’ Rams appeared on the Rummel football schedule.
This was no accident. Did it make a difference? Of course, not. So, hop off the bus, Gus.
Make a world with a smaller handbook, a trimmed-down bureaucracy, more cash into the pockets of teams that reach state nals and, most importantly, more of a spirit of cooperation among the schools.
Do what is best for the association, something that is no longer a staple of the LHSAA.
If you do it right for two, three, five years, other schools will want to join. In the meantime, a break-off would be great. The public schools will quit complaining about all the cheaters and the unfair advantages those rule-breakers have.
And, the private schools can sit around the campfire, roast marshmallows and sing happy songs.
Of course, I say this facetiously, because the moaning and complaining in Louisiana high school sports will never end. Believe it or not, both sides need each other. The private schools need the publics to fill schedules, and the publics need the privates for the cash and media coverage they draw.
But, that is over. On the 29th of January, public school principals spoke. It’s time to take the LHSAA as we know it and do the right thing: Blow it up.