Live updates from the LHSAA summer meetings

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5:00 p.m.: LHSAA meeting over. Full story to come later.

3:07 p.m.: LHSAA executive committee goes back into executive session.

2:51 p.m.: There’s a motion to table request to allow Carver schools to compete together for two more years until next meeting is approved by the executive committee. Peterson and group representing Carver says that two more years will allow LHSAA to see schools don’t have competitive advantage by competing together.

2:33 p.m.: Committee member Dana Peterson of State Dept of Education/Recovery School District asks that G.W. Carver and Carver Prep to complete together in athletics for two more years. Previous agreement allowed schools to do that for three years. Enrollment of the two schools is 400 for two schools. Committee is told the schools are projected to have 800 students. New school complex construction is set to begin in months ahead and new facility could be ready by 2016-17. Combined schools would classify in Class 2A.

Peterson says that extending the agreement two more years would give LHSAA the chance to see that it doesn’t give the Carver schools an unfair competitive advantage.

2:17 p.m.: Executive committee approves Henderson’s recommendtion to delay classification process for 2015-16 and 2016-17 until Feb. 2015, allowing LHSAA to know what happens with any possible split proposals that would be voted on in January. Classification has always been done in Nov.

Also, Henderson’s proposal that will put all select school football teams in 16-team brackets and all nonselect teams on 32-team football brackets for 2014. This ends issues over Division IV select, requiring those schools to have a 16-team bracket, something the member schools in that division rejected in January, 2014. Calendar says all four select championship games would be played on Dec. 5.

2:01 p.m.: Current document presented by Executive Director Kenny Henderson explains how if a child attends a Catholic or same organization middle school they can attend a Catholic/same organization school in a a nearby parish that is within the same diocese, provided there is no Catholic high school located in the parish they live in. Very similar to the legislature’s old act 465 students that did the same thing.

School Relations Committee Chairman Mike Boyer asked to speak on this. He notes that instead of being limited specific schools, they would be eligible at all schools within adjoining parish that is under the umbrella of the same diocese. That means students near Lake Charles would be eligible at St. Louis Catholic, but not at Notre Dame, which is part of a different diocese, Boyer notes.

1:45 p.m.: Executive committee passes a motion asking attorney Brad Lewis to write a resolution asking Gov. Bobby Jindal to veto SB 633 for arbitration. Added discussion on topic delayed until the final outcome of bill is complete as per request of Executive Director Kenny Henderson.

1:44 p.m.: Open session begins with discussion on third-party arbitration issue.

11:36 a.m.: Executive committee breaks for lunch and returns to go into executive session at 12:35 p.m. Stay tuned.

11:30 a.m.: Executive committee approves making all private schools fill out forms for each student who attends their but lives outside their civil parish. This form must be placed in the student’s LHSAA compliance folder. This originally was not going to be required. VP Vic Bonnaffee of Central Catholic notes, why have a form if it’s not mandatory?

11:15 a.m.: LHSAA executive committee approves two recommendations by Keith Alexander for outdoor track. One requires meet directors for regional meets to attend a clinic on how the meet should be run and how results should be submitted to LHSAA. The other will require coaches to check their state meet entries during a four-hour window once the entries are posted by the LHSAA. Time window extended from two to four hours because teaching duties would make the two-hour window difficult for some.

10:55 a.m.: Executive committee decides that high school coaches will still be allowed to coach eighth-graders prior to their ninth-grade year without it being considered undue influence though students in question will have choice of several schools. Students will not make school of choice until they enroll and attend a school.

Also, several schools note that while the LHSAA will recognize civil parish boundaries for school zones each public school parish will retain its traditional attendance zones.

10:38 a.m.: Committee approves proposal by ED Henderson to say that transitional ninth-graders will start their LHSAA eligibility when they enroll for transitional year and will not be allowed to get an added year of eligibility if they take five years, instead of four, to complete high school course work.

10:32 a.m.: Executive Director Kenny Henderson proposes that ninth-grade transitional students at public schools be allowed eight semesters of eligibility with no appeal even though the students will be allowed five years, or 10 semesters, to finish school. Ninth-grade transitional students are defined as students who have passed parts, but not all of the eighth-grade leap test. They will be in the high school setting and taking some by not all regular high school course work.

10:21 a.m.: Handling forfeits for baseball is an issue because umpires have to be on site and get paid to declare a forfeit. Assistant Director B.J. Guzzardo suggests a form that would allow schools to submit a form in advance that would eliminate cost of umpires coming to the site to declare a forfeit. Guzzardo says host schools incur more of the cost, because they have to pay for umpires. Cost for visiting school is zero.

10:18 a.m.: Getting ready to move into rule interpretations and bylaws, which will include discussion on transitional ninth-graders, who have passed part but not all of the eighth-grade leap test.

10:11 a.m.: Assistant Executive Director Keith Alexander reports on lightning delays at state track meet, noting that attendance was down by about 2,000, due at least in part to the weather-related issues.

10:03 a.m.: Bowling coordinator Ricky Bourgeois notes that over 1,000 students are participating in bowling in 2014, making it one of the LHSAA growing events. Assistant Executive Director Ronda Richardson makes a pitch for Sulphur, the lone bidder for state softball for the next two years.

9:54 a.m.: Assistant Executive Director B.J. Guzzardo says feedback on baseball tourney in Sulphur was positive.

Executive Director Kenny Henderson questions future of best-of-three series for classes other than 5A because smaller schools don’t have as many pitchers available. Future of pitch limit rule is limbo because Henderson and Guzzardo are still figuring out how it can be implimented. Henderson notes that some schools were informed at the state tourney that they had pitchers who could not pitch in finals based on what was done in semifinals.

9:49 a.m.: During break, School Relations Committee Chairman Mike Boyer notes that much of SRC discussion involved Catholic schools allowing students from adjoining parishes to be eligible as ninth-graders, as per new LHSAA rules passed in January. Students will only be eligible if they were in Catholic school in eighth-grade.

Boyer cites New Orleans schools like Brother Martin, Jesuit and Mount Carmel as examples. Both are located in Orleans Parish but draw a large percentage of students from Jefferson Parish whose parents, grandparents, etc., all attended the schools.

9:32 a.m.: Marketing Director Mitch Small says LHSAA is looking at a five-year deal with BSN Sports, an equipment company. He says BSN will provide all-star jerseys and shirts for LHSCA golf tournament.

9:21 a.m.: Marketing assistant Jacob Doyle says LHSAA will consider live updates for scores for its iphone app. Details to be worked out. LHSAA Technology Director says updates to app will allow coaches to update scores from their phones this year.

9:15 a.m.: VP Vic Bonnaffee tells committee that member schools need to be made aware that structure changes caused by a split in more championships or the loss of private schools could turn into a financial issue because of the potentual loss of sponsors.

9:12 a.m.: Marketing’s Small says AllState Sugar Bowl has an “out clause” in its contract that will allow them to void contract if LHSAA structure, as in a split of schools or withdrawal of private schools. Executive Director Henderson notes that other sponsors could also have issues if the the LHSAA structure changes because of an split.

9:10 a.m.: LHSAA has a new three-year sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola, according to Marketing Director Mitch Small. Allstate Sugar Bowl replaces State Farm as title-sponsor for major events. First change since 1992. Change came because of changes in State Farm structure, Small says. Contract with Allstate Sugar Bowl will run for six years.

8:52 a.m.: Executive committee approves a policy change that will allow use of rewards points on LHSAA credit cards to defray cost for some LHSAA costs. Another policy change would pay employees regular salary for travel that does not not go to 40 hours. On call time would be handled the same way, along with flex time. Approved by committee.

8:47 a.m.: General 2014-15 budget discussed. VP Vic Bonnaffee of Central Catholic says proposal does not include a two-percent raise for all employees. Budget will also include a $1,000 stipend for travel for LHSAA bowling coordinator Ricky Bourgeois’ travel.

8:44 a.m.: School Relations Committee report actually was shorter than the hour allotted for it. State championship reports are now finished.

8:34 a.m.: School Relations Committee chairman Mike Boyer tells executive committee that its committee’s recommendation that next classification cycle set for the this fall should be delayed until after January convention in order to see what happens with select/nonselect issues.

School Relations Committee is asked if it can flesh out more on some plans by the executive committee’s fall meeting by VP Vic Bonnaffee of Central Catholic. Boyer says it’s possible. LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson says that meeting may be delayed from September to October to allow more time for all involved.

Additional comment: Audit on champions might be limited to team champions because of possible time and cost constraints.

8:22 a.m.: General recommendations from School Relations Committee includes: (Note these were not yet voted on by the executive committee, but a vote could come later Thursday).

  • Auditing state champions each year to determine if there are eligibility or other issues. More indepth than a compliance check.
  • Every two years school would vote on whether or not schools should be allowed to play for championship honors, in conjunction with classification cycle. Select schools (private schools, full magnet schools, laboratory schools and some charter schools) would vote on whether its schools should be allowed to play for titles; nonselect or traditional public schools would vote on its schools.
  • LHSAA schools must play 70 percent of their games against LHSAA member schools. This excludes tournament play.

Boyer says latest draft of plan that would be select schools and nonselect schools in separate divisions under LHSAA on shelf, but ready if needed.

8:21 a.m.: Boyer notes that the LHSAA survey about key issues was filled out by more than 200 schools, but 30 percent did not participate.

8:16 a.m.: School Relations Committee chairman Mike Boyer tells committee it recommends select schools play football championships on Dec. 5 and nonselect on Dec. 12-13 both in Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Boyer tells executive committee it will have to make a decision on Division IV select, which has a larger bracket and won’t be done with semifinals in time for Dec. 5. Tentative select schedule would be 1:30 p.m. for Division III, 5:30 p.m. for Division II and 8:30 p.m. for Division I.

8:02 a.m.: Louisiana High School Athletic Association executive committee meeting begins. An executive session, with no media allowed, has been added near the lunch break.