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|Principals get passing grade|
So did principals get a passing grade for proposals made at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association general business meeting last week?
I imagine it depends on who you talk to and what proposal you are talking about.
The most controversial proposals were turned down, delayed or withdrawn.
Among the proposals that failed included one to eliminate district play in football, which did not receive a second.
That rule might be a good rule if all schools played on a level playing surface, but you can't expect schools like Ferriday to compete against teams like John Curtis or schools like Vidalia competing against the likes of Notre Dame and Lutcher with nothing else to play for.
"I believe I would have gone down to there and caused a ruckus over that one," said Vidalia head coach Dee Faircloth. "A lot of schools would have been left with nothing to play for. And the kids like getting recognition for their play in district."
The fact that proposal came up makes me scratch my head, but then again there are some guys in sports hall of fames who didn't get in there unanimously that has me shaking my head. And we won't even get into the BCS.
Hopefully the person who made that proposal will miss the bus to the next convention.
Another proposal that failed was the one allowing schools to play up in a higher classification of its choice. That proposal failed by a 146-121 margin.
You still have some coaches in the higher ranks who don't want to see the likes of John Curtis or Evangel crashing their party.
Another proposal would change football to a division sport, separating all the teams into six-team districts with a 60-60-54-54-56 breakdown of schools. This proposal failed by a 144-112 vote.
Travel is bad enough as it is. With schools surely having to tighten their budgets, more classes would probably lead to more travel.
A basketball proposal that would have had the coaches voting to seed the playoff teams in each bracket after the 32 teams in each bracket were determined by the basketball power-ranking system also failed.
That's a good thing because you get into too much of the buddy system taking a role there.
Another proposal failing is one that would have baseball going to a best-of-three series for the regional and quarterfinal rounds of the state playoffs.
Principals will use the money excuse for this one, but I wouldn't mind seeing a playoff series for each round in baseball. Play a doubleheader one day and if there is a split play the third game at a neutral site or the opposing team's place.
Most of the proposals that passed had to do with eligibility and fine-tuning some other rules.
Two transfer proposals were approved. The first one requires that the receiving school have the parents or guardians complete an LHSAA Residence Eligibility form. The second one requires that both the sending and the receiving school principals complete an LHSAA Principal's Concurrence form.
Also, any student-athlete who transfers to another school because of the "undue influence'' of any coach or private instructor from an out-of-school team of any kind ineligible for one calendar year. Any son or daughter of a full-time, on-staff coach with at least three previous years of coaching can attend the school that the coach is hired, even if it's outside the residence zone.
One proposal that was tabled was one that would gradually increase the academic eligibility standards from 1.5 to 1.75 to 2.0 by 2011-12 to be eligible for athletic participation.
I would love to sit here and tell you that's a great rule and should be passed, but the reality is there will be a number of kids who really do try who will not be eligible and will have less incentive to do well in the classroom.
Now if every school had the same standards for their students, going to 1.75 might be a possibility. But, believe me, there are some schools that will lower their standards for some students to make sure they can play.
Until you can assure me that everyone plays by the same rules when it comes to academic eligibility, I just can't go along with that one.
Put in a rule that says a student cannot receive postseason awards unless their grade point average is 1.75 or 2.0, but don't shut them out completely.
Overall the principals did a good job showing a lot of restraint this year.
Now comes the re-classification and the setting up of districts on Feb. 26.
Expect Vidalia and Ferriday to remain in Class 3A and Class 2A, respectively. What district they end up in is anybody's guess.
Something tells me this meeting will be much more newsworthy.
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