It is a bad habit, one I wish I could shake. That is, reporting on meetings of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s executive committee.
Meeting after meeting, I ask myself the following questions: Why do you attend when you know the outcomes already? And, why do the private schools in Louisiana, who are continually slapped in the face, continue to be part of this organization?
I am still mystified by question No. 2. It is clear that the private schools have little voice. In the four largest classes – 5A, 4A, 3A and 2A – private or parochial schools have no representation. Each class gets two representatives. All reps are from public schools.
Ecole Classique’s David Federico is the lone class representative from a football-playing private school, in class 1A.
As for question No. 1, it was sad to see representatives from various parts of the state standing in the hall of a Baton Rouge hotel waiting to make their presentations to bid on state championship events. They had to know that at least the girls’ or boys’ basketball championships were headed to Alexandria. Alexandria got the girls.
They had to know that soccer was headed to Lafayette.
And, they had to know that wrestling would be awarded to the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City.
The committee simply ignored a rule that states the event must be contested on the 32nd week of the National Federation Calendar. And, if there was a conflict with Mardi Gras, the event “shall” be moved to another date. Wrestling officials and coaches were aghast that the rules would be ignored, and Bossier was awarded the event on those dates. Never mind that the overwhelming number of schools participating in wrestling come from south of Interstate 10.
A lawsuit against the LHSAA is possible.
I haven’t seen what the Kremlin looks like. One day I plan to, but in Baton Rouge last week, I got another look at how it might operate.
The rules might say one thing, but the only thing that matters is a vote of executive committee members, who are mostly public school principals.
More than one high school coach has told me recently that the private schools will submit plans to host their own championships at alternative sites.
It sounds good, but I doubt it will get past the LHSAA’s bureaucrats.
Last week, as various organizations entered the room to make their bids for championships, they were greeted by executive committee president Niles Riche of Assumption High School. Pleasant, he wasn’t.
Riche told the entity presenting their bid that they had exactly 10 minutes. At exactly 10 minutes, they would be “stopped.”
It is amazing to me that so many showed up to make bids, only to know that they were treated rudely and the sites were already pre-determined.
Private and parochial schools, my question is the same as it has been since the football split playoff was enacted in January 2013: You can’t do better than this?
Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at email@example.com.