Committee rejects Parkway appeal

There will be no home football playoff games for Bossier City-based Parkway High in 2013.

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s executive committee rejected Parkway’s Wednesday appeal of a one-year playoff home game ban that came out of a sportsmanship hearing held in the fall.

The appeal took place during the regularly scheduled executive committee meeting and was one of four appeals heard during the meeting at the LHSAA office.

Parkway Principal Nichole Bourgeois appeared before the committee and said she took responsibility for the events before a bidistrict-round playoff game with Livingston Parish-based Live Oak High that led to the sportsmanship hearing.

LOHS coach Barry “Tut” Musemeche was handcuffed but not arrested when his team failed to leave the field by a time set by Bourgeois in a pregame itinerary. Live Oak stated its band had given its pregame time to the football team for warm-ups.

The game attracted statewide and regional interest as video of Musemeche in handcuffs circulated on the Internet.

Bourgeois pointed out to the committee that Parkway has completed all the other tasks involved with the sanctions, including paying a fine/hearing costs of more than $5,000. She called not being able to host a playoff game a “hardship” and noted that PHS players and students were not involved in the incident.

The committee discussed the original sportsmanship committee ruling before voting to reject the appeal. The committee also rejected student eligibility-related appeals for students from Hammond High, Central Lafourche and Dutchtown.

Open meetings?

The committee discussed possible by-law changes as the result of the Louisiana Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the LHSAA is a private organization and a not a quasi-public body.

Though Executive Director Kenny Henderson said the group should still follow the open meetings law, possible exceptions were noted. One Henderson noted was the pending school relations committee meetings during which its controversial split football playoff plan will be discussed.

LHSAA attorney Brad Lewis told the group that disciplinary hearings involving student-athletes should be closed to the public and the media. The media has routinely covered sportsmanship hearings that involve athletes.

Henderson asked Lewis to write the new meetings guidelines for the LHSAA’s 2013-14 handbook.

Championship bids

The committee approved the specifications for bids to host its basketball, soccer, tennis and baseball tournaments. The LHSAA will send out bid information to Louisiana sites/cities next week.

Of note were the attendance guidelines set for the separate boys and girls basketball tournaments. Facilities hosting the girls tourney must have at least 7,000 seats. There is a 8,000-seat requirement for the boys tourney.

Soccer structure

Henderson told the committee that the LHSAA needs to take more of an active role in the soccer championships, instead of relying on the site host to handle everything.

Henderson said more staff personnel will be used starting next year to handle pass gates and other duties.

Gym certification

Henderson asked the committee to consider gymasium certification for all schools before the basketball playoffs.

The certification would include making sure the court is the legal size, and that the gym meets the seating requirements mandated for schools in each class by the LHSAA.