Despite a climate of mistrust surrounding private schools’ athletic success, a CHSAA Legislative Council amendment to address a perceived unfair advantage fell in a 34-33 vote Thursday at the April Legislative Council Meeting in Aurora.
The amendment, proposed by CHSAA’s board of directors, focused on schools that can choose enrollment (private and some charters). Those schools’ sports programs with a track record of success would have to move up one classification for two years.
Resurrection Christian Athletic Director Rich Yonker said early Thursday he thought the amendment would pass, saying it was an attack on already outnumbered private schools.
“I think we do (feel attacked),” said Yonker, who didn’t attend the meeting. “There’s too much misconception out there that we go around recruiting athletes.”
CHSAA Commissioner Paul Angelico said the board wanted people to take a public stand on an issue that had been whispered about for years.
“Many times, the board of directors will submit a bylaw rule because we think that’s best for the association,” Angelico said. “I tried to be really clear that we were asking the question publicly, ‘What do you want to do?’ “
That answer,for now, is no. That’s something Yonker said he was both surprised, and pleased about.
“I thought it would pass overwhelmingly with the public schools outnumbering the private,” Yonker said.”
Angelico said the amendment would not have been struck down without help from public schools. He said private schools were the only ones to publicly make an argument against the amendment.
If the amendment would have passed, private schools’ teams that accumulated 32 points in four years would have been bumped up a classification. This wouldn’t have affected Class 5A private schools, and 3A schools and below would not have been moved up more than one classification even if success continued.
Points would have been awarded for state championships or runners-up (10), top four (8) and on down the line.
“It was a measured approach,” Angelico said. “There were six individual programs that would have had to play up (if the past four years were taken into account). It tells you that you have to be pretty good.”
That measured approach was still met with resistance, mostly because the CHSAA board of directors proposed it, Angelico said.
“We got, ‘You guys are attacking the private schools,’ ” Angelico said. “We got, ‘You didn’t go far enough.’ We got it all.”
Yonker said he thinks the council got it right.
“I think the private schools are part of the association of CHSAA,” said Yonker, who has worked in public and private school settings. “Anything we do that divides us is not a positive thing.”
Tyler Silvy covers prep sports for The Coloradoan.
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