LHSAA Proposals Could Split Public, Private Schools in Football Playoffs

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association will hold its annual convention next week,

and there are several proposals on the agenda that, if passed, would radically change high school sports in Louisiana,

most significantly that private schools and public schools would no longer play against each other in the football playoffs.

Two of the proposals would divide Louisiana's schools into select or non-select divisions, defining select schools as those schools that use an admissions policy to select some or all of the students who attend.

That would mean public schools would be in the non-select group and private schools, charter schools and magnet schools would be in the select group.

For dual-curriculum schools like Washington-Marion, the classification would depend on the percentage of students who were select admission schools. Depending upon the proposal, if more than one-fourth or one-third of the students were select admits, then the school would be a select school.

When the playoffs began, the non-select or public schools would continue to play in their current classification, like 5A and 4A, but the select or private schools would play in one of two new divisions.

One proposal would make this change for all classified sports and one would make it just for football.

This would represent a sea change in the football playoff system, which has been dominated by private schools for decades, and which has been criticized as unfairly favoring the private schools, which can offer admission and even scholarships to student-athletes outside of their districts.

The LHSAA annual convention begins next Wednesday in Baton Rouge.

We will have more on this story tomorrow on KPLC Sports, including an interview with Marlin Ramsey, the former South Beauregard principal who authored one on the new proposals.