This is Robin Fambrough, The Advocate’s Baton Rouge-based high school sportswriter. I’ll be providing live updates from today’s Louisiana High School Athletic Association Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday.
10:03 a.m.: Executive Director Kenny Henderson is giving report on SCR 128 which asks LHSAA to get involved in awarding letter jackets, other awards. It is mentioned just in passing in constitution.
Henderson calls it a local issue for principals to handle. Doyle’s Tommy Hodges moves that LHSAA not comply with request and it passes.
10:06 a.m.: Mike Boyer of Teurlings Catholic starts school relations committee report. Notes that Winnfield’s Jane Griffin is now on the executive committee.
Boyer notes that Episcopal’s Myra Mansur has left the committee and is being replaced by Redemptorist Principal Dary Glueck. Notes that St. Thomas Aquinas’ Jose Becerra replaced Northlake’s Monte Fontenit.
Boyer says the committee has cleared its table.
Said group discussed nine-game scenario for football.
10:09 a.m.: Boyer recounts what new SRC member Norman Booker of Many sharing his thoughts. Booker talked about his desire last year to split all sports. Boyer said Booker is aware that the LHSAA Exec Comm took a stand against any added split of LHSAA during the summer.
10:12 a.m,: Boyer finishes report. President Vic Bonnaffee notes that School Relations Committee will meet once more before December.
Now Ecole Classique’s David Federico gives non-public school committee report and notes that there are many changes there.
Federico said committee believes the football playoffs involve too many schools and the committee also wants to see no additional split within the LHSAA and is committed to helping the exec committee and school relations committee to prevent an added split.
10:17 a.m.: Strategic planning committee report from Lee Bellard begins
Bellard details goals/objectives:
1, Education, stressing the importance of it.
2, Safety: work with sports advisory committee to make decisions.
3, Work with coaches and coaches association on professionalism and career development.
4, Work with athletic directors and AD’s association on national certification and improvements.
5, Work with officials to develop training opportunities and recruitment of new officials which will be vital to the future.
6, Championship events. Make sure the LHSAA hosts events at the best facilities and at a reasonable cost to LHSAA.
7, Making sure that sports are education based and know that they help lower drop out rate and improve morale at schools.
8, Improved Governance. Being proactive on issues and not reactive. Make sure sound plans to handle procedures and finances are in place.
Bellard is told to consider meeting with committee to come up with possible proposals to be considered in January.
10:33 a,m.: Jimmy Anderson gives Hall of Fame report. Anderson asks that penalty be increased to $2,500 fine and being placed on playoffs if they play nonsanctioned Hall of Fame games.
Anderson also asked that the Hall of Fame games dates to play be expanded to more dates.
Anderson notes that one volleyball school was fined $500 for hosting a nonsanctioned volleyball Hall of Fame game. Note: restrictive probation would prevent both teams from being in the playoffs.
10:46 a.m.: Exec committee approves adding Hall of Fame fundraising games for volleyball, baseball and softball, joining basketball. Committee does not approve stiffer $2,500 fine and playoff probation for teams that host nonsanctioned games.
10:51 a.m.: LHSCA Director Gary Duhe talks to committee about making LHSCA summer clinic mandatory for coaches. He notes that Alabama fines its head coaches $300 if they don’t attend.
Duhe said the plan would be to offer rulings clinics in all sports. He sees clinic moving to a larger facility in New Orleans. It might be seen as more of a destination for coaches.
Duhe also notes the possibility of adding futures all-star games for basketball, softball, baseball, etc. to clinic. The possibility of a clinic for new coaches who just graduated from college is noted,
Duhe also notes LHSCA wants to limit nonfaculty coaches to assistant coaches roles in the future. Current head coaches would be allowed to continue.
Possibility of giving clinic classes for professional enrichment also is noted.
Ouachita Parish’s Todd Guice questions the cost to schools of requiring coaches to a attend the clinic.
Duhe says that ideally the clinic would rotate around the state and have bidders for it once attendance improves. He also notes that Nike and BSN are all-star equipment sponsors.
11:07 a.m.: Assistant Exec Director Ronda Richardson takes about mounting a campaign to promote positive aspects of the LHSAA. Tell people the LHSAA does more than issue rulings that make people unhappy.
She also discussed the student advisory committee that was announced last week. Had 110 applicants.
Richardson shows a couple of video clips of students on the committee.
11:21 a,m.: Assistant Executive Director Keith Alexander reports on rules testing for officials.
11:39 a.m.: Alexander talks about forming a committee to study pay raises for officials in order to avoid a possible walkout like the LHSAA experienced a few years ago. He says many groups do well and others, like basketball, are behind what other states pay.
Loranger’s Sam Messina makes a motion that is approved that would add two executive committee members to the sports officiating committee,
11:52 a.m.: LHSAA marketing assostant Jacob Doyle discusses asking schools to consider joining the school streaming program for sports that is offered for free to schools by the NFHS. He says it would give students not involved in athletics an outlet to be involved. There is a subscription fee for those who will sign up to watch.
12:40 p.m.: Meeting continues with presentation from LHSAA Exec. Director Kenny Henderson.
Henderson tell committee about meeting in Alexandria where use of the upgraded Rapides Coliseum for basketball championships in 2016. Says group will make a presentation perhaps in March. They’re also interested in wrestling and volleyball.
Very interesting. Henderson said he’s gotten an inquiry about Southside High of Monroe, an alternative school for boys from across the state who are placed there by a judge.
Discusses options. It’s noted that BR-based LTI was part of the LHSAA in the 1960s and 1970s.
He asks if member schools could be allowed to play them. Response is not favorable from committee members. Assistant Exec. Director B.J. Guzzardo notes that there are possibly two other schools like this,
Committee says to head it off and not have Southside pursue membership
Henderson tells schools about being approached about having scjools into National Bowl games. The committee votes against it.
1:10 p.m.: Henderson brings up passage of ACT 853 that would allow students to cross parish lines to attend a school if their school is academically failing. Exec. Committee votes to keep its Parish Boundary rule in tact which would make students who do this ineligible.
Henderson notes that 893 coaches/administrators have attended handbook certification classes so far.
1:18 p.m.: Henderson shows graphic in order to change baseball pitching rule.
Henderson wants the rule to say a calendar week instead of five-day rotation, which the rule currently states.
Committee is asked to decide whether it is done now or wait until January for a convention vote.
Tommy Hodges of Doyle moves to make change now, President Vic Bonnaffee of Central Catholic says it should be considered by association. Instead Todd Guice moves to put it on the January agenda for all principals to vote on and it’s approved.
Committee votes 11-10 against allowing athletes who follow coach to another school that play a spot he/she doesn’t coach. Interpretation will be that students are ineligible for all sports. It may go before the LHSAA membership again.
1:59 p.m.: LHSAA executive committee going into executive session.
2:55 p.m.: And the executive session continues for the LHSAA executive committee. Committee is now moving to executive boardroom for session without LHSAA staff.
4:15 p.m.: LHSAA executive committee still in executive session.