Compromise has a simple definition. It means to settle differences or make mutual concessions.
When it comes to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association few things are simple these days, including compromise. That’s why all eyes will be on the LHSAA’s executive committee Thursday.
I’ve previously referenced the old “Mission Impossible” TV show where the mission tape self-destructs to start the show. Well, here’s another reference.
When the executive committee begins its 9 a.m. meeting at the LHSAA office the committee will be handling something critics believe can self-destruct — the 96-year-old organization’s future.
Some think this meeting will be one of the most important in the history of the LHSAA. I, for one, am not sure what to think.
The executive committee has the power to vote to override the January vote that expanded the LHSAA’s select/nonselect split championships beyond football to include basketball, baseball and softball. But will they do it?
I don’t see that happening. It could, but there are other possibilities. A more likely scenario would be a special-called meeting of all member principals to reconsider the split issue yet again.
Think of it as the LHSAA’s version of a legislative special session. It’s happened a few times over the last 24 years to approve districting plans or pay raises for officials.
The threat of legislative intervention in the form of either a state takeover or a law that would force the schools back together is credible. The formation of an alternative sports cooperative or association is also something talked about.
But I keep coming back to the word compromise. Considering all that has happened, is it possible?
I met last week with Brusly Mayor Joey Normand, a passionate high school sports fan, who has an intriguing idea. Normand believes that most of the LHSAA’s recruiting rules and attendance zone rules can’t be enforced. I agree with most of those points. Normand’s idea would involve ranking schools like the NCAA does. No districts and no enrollment-based classes.
It’s pretty radical, outside-the-box stuff. But in order for an idea like this or one like the LHSAA’s metro-rural plan to be considered there would first have to be some compromise.
Since 2013 when the football split was approved the LHSAA has been a majority rules organization in which public schools rule based on their numbers. There’s not a lot of trust, let alone compromise, among some factions.
LHSAA past-president Todd Guice penned an eloquent letter asking schools to consider rescinding the split last week. He made some fine points. But as soon as the letter was posted, those who favor the split stated their view, saying Guice was wrong.
Members of the LHSAA executive committee voted against expanding the split by a 15-10 margin. The vote of member principals was 182-120 in favor of it. Three select schools voted for it. The next logical step would be a split in all sports.
Is it possible to broker a compromise when the majority doesn’t want it? That’s perhaps the biggest question facing the executive committee. And I wish them luck.