Maybe it’s time for the select schools to pull out

daniels    For those “select” schools in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, it is time to make a new plan. Time to hop off the bus. Drop off the key and set yourself free.
    Barring some sort of court or legislative action, the die is cast. It is time for the private schools, including the New Orleans Catholic League, to come to grips with reality.
    A break from the LHSAA by private schools appears inevitable.
    At a March 20 meeting, the LHSAA executive committee did not take any definitive action on the playoff split that public schools voted resoundingly for in late January. The playoff plan was sent to the school relations committee for further study.
    So, sometime later this spring or summer, that committee will make recommendations that could be voted on at a special meeting of school principals this summer.
    I have heard several takes on this special meeting. One is that public school principals, who are on vacation during the summer, will not appear at the meeting and that huge numbers of select school principals will. The selects could outnumber public principals by a large number for the crucial vote.
    But even if the current split playoff somehow doesn’t materialize in time for the 2013 season, don’t you think that further legislation from public schools will reach the convention floor next January for a vote?
    My guess is, if a playoff split doesn’t happen for the upcoming season, public school principals will vote to split the playoffs in every sport. In the meantime, animosity on both sides is extremely high.
    Dr. Jane Griffin of Winnfield, one of six co-authors of the split-playoff legislation, didn’t help when she told a joint Louisiana House/Senate subcommittee in Baton Rouge that she didn’t think it was fair that “our 145-pound lineman had line up against a 300-pound Division I recruit.”
    Curtis defeated Winnfield 33-3 in the 2011 2A championship game. Check the roster of both teams. Do you see any 145-pound Winnfield linemen or 300-pound Curtis linemen?
    Griffin certainly didn’t tell the committee that Winnfield and Curtis each had one player sign with LSU in the class of 2013. Or that of the 12 in-state high school seniors who signed with LSU in the class of 2013, nine of them came from traditional public schools.
    The fallout from the January vote is already substantial. I know of one private school in the New Orleans metro area that has said it will not schedule public schools in any sport.
    Rummel and St. Paul’s have pulled out of the Fontainebleau High School jamboree that also featured Brother Martin. Riverside and St. Charles have removed themselves from the River Parish jamboree.
    Both sides appear to be entrenched in their positions. The only thing on which both sides can probably agree is that neither wants to play John Curtis or Evangel.
    Which is what this “issue” is all about.
    Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at edaniels@clarionherald.org.

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