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Notre Dame players celebrate defeating Catholic N.I. and winning the LHSAA Class Division III football championship on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

A two-thirds vote majority of LHSAA's select schools voted Monday to form the new Louisiana Select Association, a sub-organization of the LHSAA that'll focus on administering championship events but isn't seen as a group of schools breaking away from the LHSAA.

There were 71 of the LHSAA’s 108 select schools on hand for the meeting being held at Teurlings Catholic in Lafayette, 66 of whom voted to ratify LSA bylaws.

In January, LHSAA member schools voted to allow select schools to break away and host their events apart from the traditional LHSAA events. Questions about the separate championship structure have loomed since that vote. Select schools are charged with host championship events in the sports split along select/nonselect guidelines – football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.

“This is not an attempt to split away from the LHSAA,” Catholic High Athletic Director J.P. Kelly over the weekend. “In fact, Adam MacDowell (LHSAA assistant executive director) was at our meeting in New Orleans and the schools there said they are 100 percent in favor unification of the LHSAA. We have offered to do anything we can to help that process. The LHSAA has helped us by answering questions over the last few months. This is a way for select schools to be organized.”

Kelly told the LHSAA executive committee in June that a select organization would operate like the LHSAA’s other associate organizations, including the LHSCA and Louisiana High School Athletic Directors Association. Critics see it as a move by select schools toward separate organizations — something that hasn’t been discussed since the first two years of the original select/nonselect split in 2013.

LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine argued against Boyer’s January proposals that allowed select schools to break away from the LHSAA events for that reason, calling it “a step closer to a separate governance.”

Before the vote, select schools in attendance were told that select schools representatives have already been in discussions with Mercedes-Benz Superdome (football), Tulane (football, baseball), Alario Center (basketball) and the University of Louisiana (multiple sports). One notable report came from Tim Sensley of Highland Baptist, who told the group that UL would allow select schools to host events at their venue at no charge, while retaining gate receipts. The LSA would be required to pay for security and other costs.

The meeting is still on-going as of Monday morning. More details to come.

Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com