It was a tale of two meetings for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s executive committee Wednesday.
The first lasted just over three hours and consisted of reports, lots of general information and some votes on how to proceed or interpret rules or questions. The second, held in two rooms at the LHSAA office, was an executive session that lasted about 31/2 hours.
As members of the committee made their way to the exits, LHSAA President Vic Bonnaffee of Central Catholic called it a good day and apologized to the media for not being able to disclose what went on during the executive session.
“We met before the meeting from 8 o‘clock until 9:45 a.m. and sort of reviewed and networked and got information,” Bonnaffee said. “It’s my belief that when somebody gets information (at a meeting) that they don’t hear it the first time.
“That way depending on your personality and your decision-making process you now have the opportunity to assimilate it and make a good decision. I think you’ve seen that today. As far as the executive sessions, we really can’t disclose what goes on.”
There were no bombshells items regarding the LHSAA’s select/nonselect school issues, including the future of the split football playoffs or the possibility of a split in other sports.
Comments about a possible split in other sports were limited to School Relations Committee Chairman Mike Boyer’s report on his group’s meeting.
Boyer of Teurlings Catholic told the committee about its addition of Many Principal Norman Booker and recounted how Booker told the group that he hasn’t “committed anything to paper” but talked openly about his desire to see all sports split along select/nonselect school lines.
Booker took the place of Winnfield Principal Jane Griffin, whose proposal led to the split football playoffs in January 2013. Griffin now is part of the executive committee.
Boyer and Nonpublic School Committee Chairman David Federico of Ecole Classique said their committees are dedicated to preventing any split of the LHSAA that expands beyond football.
With regard to football, Bonnaffee said that seven championships is the desired total number for football but noted that getting to that point is now the issue. In July, some football coaches championed a play for seven divisions that would reunite the select/nonselect schools. Others still see it as separate select/nonselect playoffs.
“Foundations are being laid,” Bonnaffee said, referring to what will transpire at the LHSAA’s annual convention in January.
Bonnaffee called the Strategic Planning Committee report the “most significant” and credited chairman Lee Ward Bellard of Church Point, Federico and LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson for their work.
Bellard said eight objectives for strategic planning that are education based and point toward goals of improving coaching standards, national certification for athletic directors, health and safety measures for student-athletes and top-notch state championship sites.
Henderson, Louisiana High School Coaches Association Director Gary Duhe and LHSAA assistant executive directors Keith Alexander and Ronda Richardson also gave reports.
Duhe suggested making attendance at the LHSCA Coaches Clinic mandatory while also providing more in educational enrichment courses and rules certification options. Duhe also suggested adding futures all-star games featuring seniors-to-be in several sports to the summer clinic.