Reclassification put on hold

Reclassification put on hold


Reclassification put on hold



Reclassification discussions were put on a hold on Wednesday after TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress was taken to Middle Tennessee Medical Center because he was feeling light headed and overheated.

Childress, 55, was in a TSSAA financial committee meeting with board members Fred Kessler, Jerry Mathis, Mike Reed and Ike White after the Board of Control’s lunch break when he complained he was feeling dizzy.

Reed said Childress, who lives in Murfreesboro, laid on the floor of the Embassy Suites & Conference Center meeting room and had an ice pack applied to his back. He also had some hard candy and a glass of orange juice before leaving the meeting to be checked out at Middle Tennessee Medical Center.

“He got hot and got dizzy and laid down,” said Matthew Gillespie, a TSSAA assistant director. “But he did not pass out. He was awake and alert the whole time.”

Childress replaced Ronnie Carter in 2009 as the executive director. He began working for the high school association in 1995.

The board of control completed its three items without Childress and said it would meet at 8 a.m. today to begin discussing the reclassification plans Childress and his staff handed out on Tuesday. A five classification and six classification format for football will be discussed. A four-class football system will be shown after board member Jody Wright, a Knoxville Fulton administrator and boys basketball coach, inquired.

For non-football, a three classification system and four classification system will be discussed. Both four-class systems would mean big changes in the TSSAA playoff systems and are unlikely to pass. However, the board appears split on a five-class and six-class football playoff system.

The board could vote on a classification or choose to hold off and meet again in July in a special-called meeting. Childress has said he would like a classification system approved by August.

The football coaches association has asked for a five-class system. The overwhelming majority of football coaches in Rutherford County are in favor of a return to five classes.

The new classification system would not begin until the 2013-14 school year and would run through the 2016-17 school year. The state went to a six-class system prior to the 2009-10 school year. In the regular season, football teams compete within one of three classes. Those classes are split into six in the postseason.

In other business:

State basketball financial report: The TSSAA reported an increased net income for both the Division I boys and girls as well as the Division II boys and girls state basketball tournaments.

Total net income was up $64,494.35 within the Division I boys and girls tournaments and up $3,726.50 for the Division II state tournaments.

The TSSAA received $7,197.50 from concessions during both the Division I boys and girls state tournaments, which is held at MTSU. That hasn’t happened in the past.

Ejections: The TSSAA released there were 534 ejections, an increase of 17 from last year. There were 480 players ejected, up from 454 the year prior. There were 54 coaches ejected, down 63.

The area had 10 players ejected during the school year, including Blackman wrestler Alec Meyers, Cannon County baseball player Tyler Parsley, Oakland football players Jeff Benson, Andre Chesterfield and William Butler, Oakland soccer player Eric Brewton, Riverdale basketball player Austin McGrone, Siegel basketball players Treyton Harris and Dominique Gooch and Siegel football player Danny Francescon.

Central Magnet, Eagleville, La Vergne, MTCS and Smyrna all had no unsportsmanlike incidents reported during the 2011-12 school year.

Money allotments: Riverdale and Blackman were the lone schools involved in the Division I state basketball championships to receive no financial allotment by the TSSAA because they reside in the same county of the tournaments. The TSSAA sends money to the schools based on their location and how many days they participate in the tournament.

Mt. Juliet (girls) and Lawrence (girls) each received $347.22 to help offset expenses. All three teams were eliminated in the state quarterfinals. Wilson Central (boys) received $312.50 for its one-game in the tournament.

Riverdale girls basketball coach John Wild estimated that his team’s three days in the state tournament cost about $500. That included substitute teachers, bus driver and team meals.

“We are punishing schools for the location of the school,” said board member Steve Chauncy, who is the principal at Hillwood. “We should have a minimum stipend for those teams that earned the right to go to state.”

Bolivar Central principal and board member Fred Kessler didn’t agree.

“I’ll give up my stipend if you move (the tournament) to Bolivar,” Kessler said. “We get about $2,000 when we play in it, but it costs us around $7,000.”


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