Select schools discuss options after LHSAA vote

A 90-minute meeting that involved select-school coaches and administrators provided what Parkview Baptist Principal Don Green called “positive dialog,” along with a plan to inform the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s executive committee of its views and questions.

The Tuesday meeting at Parkview attracted principals from as far away as Shreveport and Lake Charles. The Baton Rouge-based select-schools meeting was the area’s first since LHSAA member principals voted Friday to divide schools into separate football playoffs for nonselect and select schools starting this fall.

“We had a very productive meeting from the standpoint of understanding the association’s position and also trying to understand ours without being angry or reactive,” Green said. “There was a very nice result. And that result is that Myra Mansur (the athletic director at Episcopal), who is on the (LHSAA’s) executive committee, will be reporting to the executive committee. There’s a Thursday meeting there (at the LHSAA office).

“She will be reporting the sentiment of this group. We want to work with the association. We want to be compliant, obviously to the rules, while also making the association realize that this is something we really do not agree with.”

Many of those on hand declined comment as they left the closed-door meeting that was not open to the public or the media. Ron Brocato of the New Orleans-based Clarion-Herald newspaper reported that a similar closed-door meeting is planned in the New Orleans area Thursday.

LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson was out of the office Tuesday, and his assistant, Donna Davidson, said plans for a meeting later this week wouldn’t be finalized until Wednesday.

Catholic High football coach Dale Weiner said he was impressed with how the group calmly and collectively discussed working with the LHSAA and other numerous options, including potential litigation and the possibility that select schools, many of which are private schools, would elect to form their own association.

“I think the consensus was that we can’t sit on our hands and accept the status quo,” Weiner said. “I don’t think anybody wants to leave the association.

“But there was discussion about making our feelings known to the LHSAA, about some of the other possibilities out there, like litigation and about forming a separate association.

“With that said, who knows what’s going to happen from here? This was just one meeting. But I was real impressed with the way everyone discussed a number of things without being emotional about it.”

Notre Dame-Crowley football coach Lewis Cook added, “It was very productive to get everybody’s thoughts and feelings. Nobody wants to leave the LHSAA, but nobody is happy with this plan to split it, either. But we did get a plan together. That’s what today was about.”

Shreveport’s Evangel Christian was represented at the meeting, along with Natchitoches-based St. Mary’s.

The list of Baton Rouge schools in attendance included PBS, Episcopal, The Dunham School, St. Michael the Archangel, Catholic High, St. John-Plaquemine, Ascension Catholic and St. Joseph’s Academy.