BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The split for playoffs and championships in football will not spread to other sports. At least not yet, after Friday's vote at the LHSAA convention.
New LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine spoke highly of the respect he's received from Louisiana coaches and principals during his first convention experience. And perhaps there's no higher mark of respect than tabling the vote of the select and non-select football split for another year and giving Bonine and the executive committee the chance to work on a change that can benefit everyone.
"With that now comes the responsibility of taking what we need to take forward and move that process to where we can get an answer. Like I said, we can't please everybody, but we're going to try to get the bulk of this thing," said Bonine.
"Also, it gives a lot of people another opportunity to think about it and talk about it, because I think we've had some good talks in our classification meetings," said Parkview Baptist Athletic Director Kenny Guillot.
As for splitting the other sports into select and non-select divisions, that was voted down to the sound of applause.
"The premise of this organization is for all of us to play together, and that's what we're trying to do to get us all to play together," said LHSAA Executive Committee member Terence Williams. "We've been around for 95 years, and that's what we want to do. We want to play under one umbrella, all of us together."
But that concept still requires the playing field to be level, which is not always the case with public and private schools and their varying access to resources.
"This is, by far, the worst that's taken place as far as the recruiting. I think a lot of it's being done, not worried about the outcome of what could happen," said East Ascension head coach Paul Bourgeois.
"But I think now the principals and athletic directors and athletic administrators know that they can file a complaint, which they've been able to do in the past, but I'm a guy that doesn't take the anonymous letters," commented Bonine about reporting cases of recruiting. "If you want to file a complaint, then step up, put you name on the letterhead, sign it send it to me. I'm going to ask the first question, have you had a chance to speak to the other principal about this? Well you need to do that. We need to try to get this resolved. And then I'll come in and help mediate that piece. But if not, we'll send people in and enforce it and abide by the rules."
As the convention comes to a close, the general consensus appears to be have patience, and rather than make some short, quick and often questionable changes, take the time to find the longer term solution.