LHSAA asks for time out for House Bill 863

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LHSAA LogoBATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) – The Louisiana High School Athletic Association has asked for time to “study the consequences” of pending legislation in the State House of Representatives.

House Bill 863, authored by Representative Kirk Talbot R-River Ridge, passed the Education Committee last week by a 7-5 vote and was to be discussed on the House floor Thursday.

The bill takes direct aim at the LHSAA split playoffs. House Bill 863 says that any public or nonpublic school that receives state funds cannot be a member of the an athletic organization that splits its playoffs. In January, a majority of LHSAA principals voted to split the playoffs in baseball, basketball, and softball. The playoffs were split in football in a vote in January of 2013.

Talbot, when reached by phone Wednesday in Baton Rouge, said that the LHSAA has asked that the bill be “held” until the Executive Committee of the LHSAA meets April 14.

“I am cautiously optimistic that something can come out of their meeting,” said Talbot. “I am returning the bill to calendar, but I can bring it back up at any time.”

Talbot said his bill his still “passable” through the State House, but he hopes for a solution.

“I hope we don’t need this bill, at all,” said Talbot.

A new Louisiana high school sports “cooperative” is seeking 60 members to split off from the LHSAA. The cooperative was spearheaded by several private schools in the Baton Rouge area.

The new cooperative is asking for $15,000 in initiation fees from each member school.