The LHSAA executive committee begins its two-day fall meeting with a 1 p.m. Wednesday session at the LHSAA office. By the time Thursday’s 9 a.m. session is finished, pivotal information will be shared that could help frame the organization’s move toward its 100th anniversary in 2020, executive director Eddie Bonine said.
“During my director’s report there is information I plan to share, including the results from surveys we have done over the summer,” Bonine said. “Through that information, I think the picture of where the LHSAA is heading for the future will be clear. The survey results have already been shared with our schools and are among the things that will come to light publicly.”
Bonine’s executive director’s report is part of the Thursday agenda. Also set for Thursday is a review of proposals by LHSAA staff and constitution. Key items Wednesday will include staff reports from the LHSAA’s assistant directors on their respective sports and notable information gained at the NFHS’ national convention held in Indianapolis. Appeals of LHSAA sanctions for Northside Christian, Jena, Peabody and Lincoln Prep will be held in a closed session Wednesday.
The LHSAA sent surveys to school principals, athletic directors, coaches and superintendents asking if they preferred one of three options for the LHSAA’s future: eliminating the select/nonselect split to bring schools back together; keeping things as they are with split championships for football, boys/girls basketball, baseball and softball; or separate governances (associations) for select and nonselect schools.
Another survey polled select football schools on whether they wanted to return to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for title games in December. In January, LHSAA member principals voted to give select schools the right to host stand-alone title games in the split sports.
The form with which those title games will take has been a hot topic of debate as select schools formed an organization, the Louisiana Select Association, that is not recognized by the LHSAA. The LSA recently solicited bids to host the football title games at a centralized site. Catholic High-BR athletic director J.P. Kelly said the LSA has delayed making any decisions until after the LHSAA meetings.
A major sticking point is the interpretation of the football proposal passed in January, which says the higher seed can host games at a “traditional” neutral site where the school plays its games.
“We are still schools that are part of the LHSAA and we seek the LHSAA’s guidance,” Kelly said. “So it is important for us to see what happens at this meeting.”