Sports

Louisiana football playoff “split” confirmed by LHSAA principals

The football playoff split in Louisiana high school football will continue for a second year.
Thursday in Baton Rouge, LHSAA principals in all five classes voted to extend the divide between public and private schools through the 2014 season.
In individual class meetings, each football playing class, 5A thru 1A, had their chance to rescind the controversial legislation enacted one year ago.
Instead that action was confirmed.
In class 5A, the vote was 33 to continue the split, 24 for re-unification.
Mandeville principal Bruce Bundy voted for the split. He is a member of the LHSAA’s executive committee.
“I still think that there are a lot of principals that just don’t feel that there is a level playing field,” said Bundy. Bundy said that private schools can draw students from other districts, while Mandeville cannot.
Rummel principal Michael Scalco said the confirmation of the split vote will lead to talk of the private schools forming their own association.
“I am sure this will start discussion about going another way,” said Scalco.
“We didn’t want that to happen, but now that discussion is inevitable.”
Classes 5A and 4A were considered the best bets to re-unite. But, 4A voted 25 to 16 to stay split.
In Class 3A, the vote was 36 to 12 for the split. In 2A, it was 34 to 7.
In Class 1A, the split was upheld by a vote of 24 to 8.
LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson said that some of the smaller private schools liked the split concept, and would vote for it to remain.
But, Henderson said complaints about recruiting violations from member schools include both private and public schools.
“f I were going to make that statement I would say that recruiting is just as rampant in the public schools as it is in the private schools,” said Henderson. “You, get as many complaints? I do.”
In 2013, Louisiana crowned 9 state football champions.
5 were public school champions, 4 were “select” school champions.
The convention concludes Friday. One of the proposals on the ballot was to end the football playoff split in all classes.
But, after Thursday’s vote that appears to be moot.

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