Football playoffs highlight LHSAA's agenda

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Since January, when Louisiana High School Athletic Association member principals passed a proposal that

mandates split football championships, there have been several notable meetings and dates.

The next big date looming is Wednesday. That's when the LHSAA's executive committee begins its annual three-day summer meeting

at the organization's offices.

It also could be the day when the LHSAA board finalizes some all-important details for the 2013 football playoff plan that

divides schools based on select or nonselect school status.

"We're going to come in and look at the recommendations the school-relations committee made," LHSAA President Todd Guice of

Ouachita High said. "And from there, I'd like to think we'll be able to make some decisions. We owe it to our schools, the

athletes and fans to have something in place."

Wednesday's Baton Rouge meeting starts at 1

p.m., and a series of recommendations regarding the split plan and other

select/nonselect

school issues are among the first items the executive committee

will attempt to tackle.

The executive committee also will decide on its two-year host championship sites for five sports, including baseball and boys

and girls basketball on Wednesday. The executive committee also is set to meet at Thursday and again on Friday.

"The meeting is going to revolve around

those things," LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson said of the

select/nonselect

issues and championship proposals. "We've got your other typical

housecleaning things that we do every summer. And we've got

a couple of requests, but nothing as important as those two

items."

One "house cleaning" item to note will be Henderson's recommendation on the hiring of an assistant executive director to replace

Rhonda Dreibelbis, who retired after the 2012-13 sports seasons.

Henderson said he has completed the interview process and is prepared to make that recommendation to the executive committee

Wednesday.

Guice said the executive committee will not

look to postpone implementation of the split playoff plan that passed by

a 206-119

margin by principals. For now, only one thing is certain: Select

and nonselect teams will compete together in districts before

branching off into separate playoffs.

The key issues will be deciding how many divisions there will be for select schools and where charter schools fall in this

mix.

Guice and Henderson praised the work of the school-relations committee, which hashed out 11 recommendations during a two-day

meeting in late April.

LHSAA leaders noted the school-relations

committee may not be done yet. The school-relations group made up of

select and nonselect

school representatives is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon and

Wednesday morning before the start of the summer meeting.

Henderson said those meetings will be closed to the media and the

public.

"One important recommendation the school-relations committee made was that the vote in January should be honored this year,"

Guice said. "You had select and nonselect members who felt very strongly about that. The question is how do we do that?"

The proposal passed in January calls for five football championship divisions for 242 nonselect, or traditional public schools;

and two for select schools, a group made up of private, magnet, laboratory, charter and dual-curriculum schools.

Since then, the school-relations committee recommended offering five select championship divisions and to remove charter schools

that have open enrollment policies from the list of select schools.

"We're going to come in and review what we

put together at the last meeting," school-relations committee chairman

Mike Boyer

of Teurlings Catholic said. "Part of the reason for the five

divisions was a concern about needing to follow the LHSAA constitution,

which says football should be contested in five classes. Some

people on the committee may have a new ideas, and there could

be another plan added."

The LHSAA staff has researched the charters of its member charter schools and has identified 11 New Orleans area schools that

will be moved to the nonselect category, Henderson said.

Defending Class 4A football champion Edna Karr is one of two schools still to be evaluated. Baton Rouge's most notable charter

school, Madison Prep, was deemed a select school.

Henderson said the status of dual-curriculum

schools won't be a major factor. Only two dual-curriculum schools,

Baton Rouge-based

Scotlandville and Shreveport's C.E. Byrd, have submitted

percentages that will make them select schools.

The process to evaluate dual-curriculum schools is ongoing. To be deemed select, a dual-curriculum school must draw at least

25 percent of its enrollment from outside a traditional attendance zone.