When it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
That is what principals in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association said about their basketball playoffs. By a vote of 205-120, the principals voted down a proposal that would have united public and private schools in the same brackets.
How good were these playoffs in 2017?
Class 2A champion Madison Prep won its first four playoff games by 102, 53, 86 and 58 points.
Division I champion Scotlandville had a bye into the quarterfinals, then won that game by 30 points.
Division III champion Country Day had a bye in the first round then won its next four games by 43, 47, 15 and 29 points. The Cajuns had one meaningful playoff game, a 15-point victory over Riverside Academy for the championship.
Wonder what means more in Cajun land – the 2017 title or the 2013 championship when Country Day won its quarterfinal, semifinal and final games, all in overtime?
Five years have passed since public school principals cheered loudly when they voted to split the football playoffs. The chasm, since then, has only grown wider.
Many coaches of private schools will lament (most off the record) about just how dysfunctional the LHSAA is. But, any proposal to form a new organization is met with a show of temperance – like, maybe at some point, a majority of public school principals across the state will come to their senses and vote to end the split playoffs.
In 2017, 12 championship trophies were handed out in basketball. A passel of byes and a host of lopsided scores meant absolutely nothing.
It was time long ago for the private schools to move on and form their own league.
The private schools tell me the LHSAA is so bad. My reply is, if the LHSAA is doing things so poorly, form your own organization and do it better. Shorten the LHSAA’s encyclopedic book of rules, come up with a simple transfer rule that works for everyone and give schools a bigger share of the money generated by state championships.
Have the courage to step out and take a chance. If you do it well, you may attract public school districts to join.
Several years ago, when talks of a new league were heating up, the Zachary and Central school districts were listening. In other words, step up and compete.
Each January, you get sand kicked in your face and sit there and take it. You do have a choice.
Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.