LHSAA principals vote down chance to kill playoff split
BATON ROUGE -- Split playoffs will remain in the world of the LHSAA.
A week from this past Friday, principals from around the state rejected a proposal from North Vermilion principal Tommy Byler that would have put the Louisiana high schools back together in the playoffs. Although the proposal did have more votes in favor of the proposal, 179-165, it did not meet the requirement of a two-thirds majority as stipulated in the LHSAA constitution.
Byler’s plan called for 1.25 multiplier to be placed on private schools enrollment, meaning those schools would have to had to multiply their enrollment 1.25 times before being submitted to the LHSAA. The proposal would also have reduced the number of championships in football from nine to six and in basketball, baseball, and softball from 12 to eight.
Approximately 360 of the LHSAA’s over 400 member schools were in attendance with voting representatives.
“I’m not going to go with the word disappointed. I’ve been here five years and we’ve had this conversation more than once on how we could potentially fix this,” LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine said after the voting. “I think that of the proposals that were there, it seemed that the last three days the proposal submitted by a member principal, Mr. (Tommy) Byler, had the best chance.”
“I think the unified championships are an important part of what Louisiana has done and done well for a long time,” he continued. “We’ve discussed and we’ve discussed (it) and I’m to the point now of where we do we go from here?”
The original football split passed in 2013 when only a simple majority was required and with the votes of more than 80 nonfootball schools.
“I got up five years ago and said that to get anything for classification to pass with a two-thirds vote would be difficult,” Byler said. “In my mind, the next thing you have to look at is what qualifies as a select school and a nonselect school. What happens if you have 190 nonselect schools and 190 select schools? I think more so than the vote today, the discussions over the last two days were good.”
Shannon Wall, principal of Shreveport’s Northwood High noted, “This is classification. It does not address the reason why we’re here … which is illegal recruiting.”