BATON ROUGE —The most controversial of the amendments on the table at the LHSAA General Business meeting was soundly voted down Friday morning among other votes by the principals of the state.
The proposal, written by Iowa principal Mike Oakley and Carey Smith of Starks, would have combined Class A, B and C into one class.
In a last-second effort to save his amendment Oakley tried to pass an amendment to the proposal so that it would not go into effect until the 2018-19 season rather than become effective immediately. The amendment was roundly voted down.
Oakley’s proposal failed with 76.4 percent of the principals voting against it.
With Oakley’s first proposal failing, his other two proposals became moot and were not voted on.
“There were pieces to it that a lot of people told me had merit there were just too many what-ifs,” LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said. “And I think that is what got it today.”
Oakley, who is retiring at the end of the year, said there were no hard feelings and that what the membership wanted he would accept.
The next major proposal voted on was the so-called “Elite Teams” proposal written by Ray Simon of Catholic of New Iberia and Mike Boyer of Teurlings.
Despite positive feedback in the lead up to the vote, the proposal was voted down by a large margin, receiving support from only 31 percent of the principals.
Boyer was frustrated about the proposal not passing and couldn’t put his finger on why it didn’t get through for the second time in two years.
Throughout the week, Boyer has mentioned when discussing the proposal that for years if the LHSAA would have had this power many of the problems in the state might have been avoided (i.e. John Curtis and Evangel crushing Class 2A teams).
“Put up or shut up, they complain, they complain and they complain,” Boyer said. “Ok, well here is a way to give power to the authorities to go in (and do something about it).
“I know the first time it did not pass (last year) it was a vote against Eddie Bonine rather than the motion in itself. There is still some unknown to it. Maybe it was the qualifier of one state championship, but that just brings you in the picture.”
In a minor surprise, a proposal written by Michelle Chaisson of E.D. White that stated a school that does not participate in a sport shall now have voting rights on legislation dealing with that sport.
For example, now all-girls schools cannot vote on football items and a school which does not participate in wrestling cannot vote on items that pertain to wrestling.
Another proposal written by Chaisson that stated a school shall have voting rights on legislation regarding playoffs in the arena in which they compete – select or non-select – passed.
So now Select schools can change their playoff formats without input from Non-Select schools and vice-versa.
“What I was most pleased about is they pretty overwhelmingly passed the fact that Select schools can determine their own championship package,” Boyer said. “Based on some meetings I’ve been with Catholic schools in the state it is something we wanted to move toward. We will live within the house, but we’ll have our set of rules and we will control them.”
The final constitutional amendment of the day made a change to the way future constitutional amendments could pass.
The LHSAA has passed constitutional amendments via a simple majority since its inception, but the rest of the nation uses a two-thirds majority vote to pass constitutional amendments. So by passing this proposal the LHSAA gets itself in line with the rest of the nation.
“When we get the numbers you’ll be able to look at the voting data and see who voted for the initial split and the latest split and see if they voted for the two-thirds rule or not and I think that might be the case,” Bonine said. “They now know that it takes more to back something out. What I’m trying to do is protect the constitution.”