LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine called a Tuesday news conference to announce talks with the Louisiana High School Officials Association reached an impasse that is leading toward a likely walkout by officials in 2015-16.
Bonine said the groups met Tuesday and the meeting ended abruptly with the LHSOA reiterating its demand that LHSAA schools sign contracts and saying they will not officiate games unless that happens. Bonine said he expects the LHSAA to devise its plan of action in the next 24 to 48 hours based on input from its executive committee and member principals.
The meeting started with Bonine and assistant executive director Keith Alexander telling the officials they would work to get the pay raises requested during the 2015-16 school year and to get those raises approved when member principals meet in January. The LHSOA then rejected that proposal from Bonine and Alexander. Bonine said he was told the proposal was too much like past promises that were broken.
“I’ve inherited a situation where there’s an animosity between officials and some LHSAA schools,” Bonine said. “At this point, Mr. Alexander and I have done all we can do.”
Bonine said he could not project who will be officiating games in 2015-16 and added the LHSAA is beginning to register officials for the fall on its own and apart from the LHSOA.
“We’ve lost where the focus should be — the student-athletes,” Bonine said.