LHSAA board deliberates but keeps Bonine
BATON ROUGE – During a rare executive session July 25, the executive committee of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association questioned commissioner Eddie Bonine about unflattering comments he made about the organization’s intramural battles but decided not to buy out the remaining two years of his six-figure contract.
“He’s our executive director (through June 2019), and that’s all I can say, based on the advice of (legal) counsel,” said LHSAA president Vic Bonnaffee.
Bonine said he intended to focus “on the job at hand” and “regroup as a professional and as a person. I take full responsibility for the document. That’s what brought us here today.”
Bonine gave a bleak appraisal of the current state of the LHSAA in June to the National Federation of High Schools in his report on high school athletics in Louisiana, calling the organization a “proverbial dumpster fire.”
He said he was referring to the financial condition of the LHSAA, whose bank account has been slowly depleted by the settlement of a long-standing lawsuit with a now-defunct management group, the loss of three major sponsors to the tune of $250,000 and operating expenses.
But tension between the executive director and the LHSAA executive committee has lingered through the latter months of his 18-month tenure.
At the annual meeting in January, public school principals approved a proposal to hold separate championship playoffs for public and non-public schools in several sports, to which Bonine was emphatically opposed. At a special session called in June, the principals were recalled from their vacations to vote on one of four alternate proposals designed to return the LHSAA to “normalcy.” Instead, they chose “none of the above.”