The LHSAA gets a mulligan Wednesday.
It’s a do over, a last ditch effort to bring schools (well, at least some of them) back together.
Principals from across the state will convene at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Baton Rouge and vote on four options, all filled with compromises of sorts from the convention in January.
It was in January when principals voted to further split the LHSAA between select and nonselect schools to include basketball, baseball and softball.
At the time, I said that day very well could be the death of the LHSAA as we know it. After that meeting, several schools, including those in the Catholic League, had discussions about possibly bolting from the association.
Turns out, that January day wasn’t quite the death of the association as we know it.
But the LHSAA, as we know it, could very well be on life support unless principals vote Wednesday on one of the alternatives.
How will the vote go?
Your vote is as good as mine.
The vote in January was 182-120, which is right at 60 percent. The vote three years ago when principals decided to split football was 206-119 (63.4 percent).
So just based on those numbers, not much seems to have changed as far as how the powers that be feel on select and nonselect schools being separated.
The question now becomes, are those principals willing to compromise?
The available choices give them a chance to do that.
And if some of the choices are approved Wednesday, you’ll likely be even more confused than you have been over the past three years trying to figure out what school is playing for what state championship in what sport.
Perhaps the most important option that the school relations committee came up with, especially for schools in the greater New Orleans area, is the hybrid plan that would get rid of the split format in both Classes 4A and 5A. Teams in Class 3A, 2A and 1A would continue to be split in football, basketball, baseball and softball. But the dividing line would be changed, going from select and nonselect to rural and metro.
In a perfect world, only the schools in 4A and 5A would vote on bringing themselves back together, and the principals in the other three classes would decide how or if they wanted to be split. But as you’ve seen over the past three years, this is no where near perfect.
Principals from schools in the smaller classifications (including some smaller schools that don’t even field football teams) get to cast their votes on matters that won’t affect their schools. And principals in larger classifications get to cast their votes on something that will affect schools in smaller classifications.
Another plan would bring all the schools back together but would make select schools use a 1.5 multiplier to determine their enrollment. In a nutshell, this option would have select schools playing in classifications larger than where their enrollment would normally put them. The logic behind this is that select schools get to choose students from a wider geographical area than nonselect schools.
A third option includes the 1.5 multiplier but adds a Class 6A, which would consist of the largest schools.
The fourth choice is one that would have seven football classifications: four for nonselect schools and three for select schools. For basketball, baseball and softball, schools would be divided into nine classifications: five for nonselect classes and four select divisions.
So do you understand all that now?
Don’t worry. You probably don’t have to.
The third option has the best chance of passing.
None of the above.
Nothing will change Wednesday.