After awarding bids, ruling on appeals and sifting through housekeeping items, the LHSAA’s executive committee closed its summer meeting the only way it could — by getting things in order for Wednesday’s special meeting.
“It could be one of the shortest votes ever,” LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said. “If everybody votes for No. 5, we’ll be out of here quick. It depends on who shows up and what their wishes are.
“The important thing for me is that we were able to show what each plan would look like once it’s put into place. People know what they’re getting. We’ll abide by whatever happens. It’s that simple.”
Member principals are set to meeting at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Crowne Plaza to vote on four possible alternatives to a proposal approved in January which adds boys/girls basketball, baseball and softball to the list of its championships split along select/nonselect school lines.
At least 99 principals or their pre-approved proxy voters must be on site to vote. That total represents 25 percent of the LHSAA’s 396 total membership. In order to be approved, one of the five voting options on the agenda must get 50 percent of the vote plus one. Voters also get the option to abstain.
All proposals will be voted on simultaneously using electronic voting devices. The executive committee approved assistant principals and athletic directors as voters for 49 proxy requests.
The No. 5 option Bonine referred to is “none of these,” and would mandate implementation of Many Principal Norman Booker’s plan approved in January. It calls for 12 championships — seven nonselect and five select — in each of the four sports. The LHSAA split its football playoffs into nine championships in 2013.
“Mr. Bonine and I have been lambasted by people saying we’re trying to force a point of view on them,” LHSAA President Vic Bonnaffee of Central Catholic said. “Neither one of us has a position. Our role is to provide information, run the meeting as smoothly as possible and then implement what passes.
“I believe there are a lot of text messages flying across Louisiana right now. And there’s social media that is informing people of what is going on and what’s going to take place.”
Bonnaffee said the meeting will start with a timeline that explains how the LHSAA got to the point of Wednesday’s special meeting. Authors of the four plans will present their plans and take questions.
Here’s a breakdown by author/proposal:
- Mandeville Principal Bruce Bundy’s proposal would bring schools back together for all sports and multiply the enrollment of select schools by 1.5 to determine their classification.
- Ruston Principal Ricky Durrett’s plan also would unite schools and use a 1.5 multiplier to determine enrollment. It also adds a new 6A top class for the largest schools and those playing up in classification.
- The hybrid plan from the LHSAA’s School Relations Committee unites teams in Classes 5A and 4A in football and combines B and C. Schools in Classes 3A, 2A, 1A would be divided by rural/metro status for the playoffs instead of select/nonselect.
- A plan from Iowa’s Mike Oakley and Vinton’s Mitch Manuel’s reduces the basic number of classes from seven to five. It calls for four nonselect and three select football championships and a five nonselect/four select championships in the other four sports.
Tuesday’s quick take
The executive committee rejected Scotlandville’s appeal of sportsmanship sanctions imposed after a fan-related included during the Class 5A boys basketball title game.
A group led by EBR General Counsel Domoine Rutledge and Superintendent Warren Drake questioned weather it was an issue of property damage and refuted those claims. The group was told the sportsmanship ruling was based on a lack of administrative supervision.
Grambling Lab was granted new member status. The school is being renamed and rebranded with new school colors and a mascot.
Lafayette garnered the bid to host boys/girls golf for the next two years. Kenner’s Pontchartrain Center will host the spirit/cheerleader for two years.
Northwestern State was the lone bidder for cross country. New Orleans-based Romaguera Romaguera Photography of Metairie will handle LHSAA photo services for two years.