Executive director Eddie Bonine wants to “pump the brakes” on the amendments to the rules governing select-school members and their playoffs. And Bonine is planning to make his case at next week’s LHSAA convention.
Bonine told coaches and member school administrators at Thursday’s Baton Rouge area meeting that the LHSAA is heading toward “two goverances” if it continues to tweak the select rules, most notably for football, basketball, baseball and softball championships.
“Before we take that rubber band one more stretch, let’s stop and convene a committee,” Bonine said. “Then it will be my job and the and executive committee’s job to take the recommendations that come out of the committee. We’re meeting to come up with a solution because what we have now is not good for the kids.”
The LHSAA convention is set for Jan. 23-25 at the Crowne Plaza. The area meeting gave Bonine a chance to review the agenda with local member schools in advance of the vote at the business meeting that concludes the convention. It was one of six area meetings held around the state.
In 2013-14 LHSAA members began competing for separate championships in separate select/nonselect playoff brackets, first in football. It later expanded to include basketball, baseball and softball.
A series of proposals by Teurlings Catholic principal Mike Boyer would change some of the select playoff formats, including holding the football championships somewhere other than the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
“Before we go to the floor I will speak to the floor, look at the author and ask that he please pull this,” Bonine said. “We keep tearing it and tearing it, but the concern is now is having two goverances, two separate entities. Stop! That’s not good for (the kids) or us.”
Boyer, who said he was against the split six years ago, said he’s looking for a “win-win” situation that can save the LHSAA time and money. He attended the Lafayette area meeting, where postponement of his proposals was suggested.
“I’m not sure how I’m going to handle that,” Boyer said. “The intent was to try to find a win-win situation for everybody concerned to lessen the cost for the LHSAA. It would be less rental, fewer days for the LHSAA staff on the job and home game on the bracket for select teams (championships). It’s expensive to lose playoff games in several sports if you do well and catch byes. It affects your bottom line.
“I was never a proponent of the split. I never voted for the split. I put proposals up to alter the results of the split. I was chairperson of the school relations committee and put numerous proposals up in an effort to put the association back together. I don’t see that happening. At some point in time I have to take care of my school and schools of similar nature to ours.”
Boyer also has proposals for adding five members — one for each select division — to the 23-member executive committee and to allow students who transfer between select schools to become eligible immediately if the principals agree.
Two proposals submitted by Hahnville principal Brian Lumar will clear up language for purposes of not penalizing students in eligibility rulings when coaches are at fault. Hahnville battled with the LHSAA over the eligibility of Andrew Robison, who was ruled ineligible after transferring from Vandebilt Catholic. He was ultimately ruled eligible after winning an arbitration hearing and played the season finale and two playoff games.