There was more to Tuesday’s LHSAA executive committee meeting than closed executive sessions that dealt with football playoff sanctions levied against Amite High and the school’s 8 a.m. Wednesday appeal.
Though it was not the headline story, the executive committee began its review of agenda items for its annual convention in January, yielding some notable points.
One was a proposal by executive committee member Bruce Bundy of Mandeville calling for the LHSAA to disband its current split football playoff format and return to a traditional five-class format.
Another by Many Principal Norman Booker Jr. asks that Class 2A schools extend the split beyond football to basketball, baseball and softball. The committee also discussed how Booker’s proposal might come into play during the general assembly process.
Discussion of other agenda items, including the LHSAA’s revamped version of the rural-metro classification proposal plan, will take place Wednesday’s after Amite’s appeal concludes.
AHS is appealing LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine’s decision to remove its football team from the Class 3A semifinals because of a benches-clearing fight that ended a quarterfinal game with District 7-3A rival Bogalusa last Friday.
Executive Director Eddie Bonine was pleased with Day 1 of the meeting.
“By past practice this is when we begin to set the agenda for the annual convention,” Bonine said. “This meeting comes at a bad time for the staff, the committee, everybody.
“It’s after a holiday and before two weekends of football championships, which are arguably the biggest events we host. We’re also going through some staff transitions as well. This is the first time for myself and my administrative assistant, who is new. With that said, if a 10 is the top score, I think we had a solid eight.
“I think we’re prepared to have the hearing in the morning but also to delve into the proposals and the items I’ve moved forward, which are pay increases for officials. Obviously, we need to work on the metro and rural (item), but it looks like it’s in pretty good shape.”
Bonine was pleased by Bundy’s decision to submit a proposal on behalf of Mandeville to bring the LHSAA back together.
“His (Bundy’s) stance is, ‘Eddie if you’re going to enforce rulings like you’re doing it right now, we had it that way for 20-some odd years and there didn’t seem to be a problem. The problem we didn’t feel like there was enforcement.”
Bonine said the parliamentarian will have to sort out whether Booker’s proposal could be voted on first by 2A principals and then brought before the general assembly.
The other notable news involved how games for the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic football championships will be televised when the games begin Friday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
LHSAA Marketing Director Mitch Small told the committee the National Federation of High School Associations Network is taking over production from Fox Sports for the two weekend championships.
The games will be available by live stream at a cost of $9.95 a day. Small said the NFHS Network will tape the games, and Fox Sports will air all nine title games on a delayed basis once the title games are played.
Small said the LHSAA had reduced the number of games that were broadcast live in recent years and said this change had more to do with rising production costs that top over $200,000 than ratings.
However, Small said Bonine may be receptive to doing more live games, and that could factor in when the LHSAA meets with Fox next year.