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Port Allen celebrates victory as the claim their trophy during the LHSAA Marsh Madness Class 2A Championship at Burton Complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Kirk Meche)

To say it was an eventful week would be an understatement. The LHSAA released its first list of select/nonselect schools based on a new select schools definition, which was huge.

That list will change as schools appeal select school status. Written appeals will be accepted until June 21.

Reports from an Alexandria-based television station on a recent school board meeting indicate the Rapides Parish Schools plan legal action meant to prevent the LHSAA from implementing its select/nonselect this fall, allowing all member schools to vote in January.

Rapides is one of several open enrollment parishes moved to the select schools category because students can select any school to attend, rather than attending the school located closest to their residence.

A legal challenge was likely inevitable here. If not Rapides, then perhaps another parish. Reports of school board members feeling blindsided by the move speak to the apparent apathy about the select/nonselect split.

All Rapides schools received information on the proposals and possible executive committee changes after an April meeting. There also is a representative for the state superintendent’s association on the executive committee.

Also, the LHSAA meeting was open to the public. More than 50 extra chairs were set up for those who wanted to voice concerns. Those chairs sat empty.

Multiple members of the media, including myself, wrote about the changes and what they could mean before, during and after the meeting. Only one principal and one coach attended.

I am not a lawyer nor never played one on TV. But I will be curious to see how this plays out.

There is LHSAA tournament and NIL news. The LHSAA used the same bylaw used to redefine the split to bring its select/nonselect schools back together for championship events. This too will be a delicate dance.

Select schools made money, most notably on football title games, last fall. Others sports received notable returns too. The amount of guaranteed money for schools is a huge complaint, most notably for football games at the Caesars Superdome. Another bone of contention is scheduling with select schools often getting early game times when many fans cannot attend.

The argument “they don’t bring people” can become a self-fulfilling prophecy when repeated year after year. A post-meeting news conference comment about a possible rotating schedule is worth noting.

No dressing for NIL success

Sliding under the radar is the NIL statement from the National Federation of High Schools. It says athletes from its member associations/schools should not gain NIL benefits while wearing something they do not own — their school uniform.

Just like the NCAA, the NFHS is playing catch up on NIL too. A few athletes in Louisiana have already been featured in NIL marking while wearing a uniform. The same thing has probably happened in other states. Another possible legal challenge? We will see.

Job openings

St. John seeks a volleyball coach for the 2022 season. The Class 1A-Division IV school lists the position as one that could be full-time with teaching duties or a nonfaculty certified part-time.

Contact athletic director Cindy Prouty at (225) 333-6389 or send an email to cprouty@stjohnschool.education.

• Dutchtown seeks a certified physical education teacher/defensive backs coach. Send résumés to assistant athletic director Josef Venus at josef.venus@apsb.org and defensive coordinator Chris Harrell at chris.harrell@apsb.org.

Prep notables

• Former Zachary standout Kenson Tate and ex-McKinley/John Curtis girls basketball coach Temeka Johnson accomplished milestones last week.

Johnson, a former Bonnabel and LSU player, was hired as an women’s basketball assistant coach by Western Kentucky. She led Curtis to Division I titles in 2021 and 2022.

Tate, a freshman, earned second-team All-America honors in the long jump for Lamar at the NCAA championships with a jump of 24 feet, 8 ½ inches to place 12th.

• Evan Gleason of The Dunham School and Halima Hamdan of Dutchtown received the first Kyle Jackson Scholarships awarded by the Baton Rouge Metro Tennis League.

Gleason and Hamdan each received a $500 scholarship award in honor of Jackson, the late Catholic High coach and player who died in an auto accident in 2021. Players were nominated based on their work, character, leadership and passion for tennis.


Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com