Some thoughts from Monday’s Arizona Interscholastic Association exeuctive board meeting:
1. I’m glad the board only gave Tempe High a warning – as opposed to putting it on probation – for forfeiting its game against Scottsdale Saguaro earlier this season. As I’ve said before, I think the Buffaloes were wrong for getting on their bus at halftime and going home. I also believe the administration overreacted in the 24-48 hours after the game.
But, given the extenuating circumstances – several Tempe players already had been hurt, and coaches and administrators were worried about the health of their remaining players – it was the proper decision by the AIA. Also, Tempe (6-3) likely will clinch a playoff spot with a win over Maricopa on Friday, and I would have hated to see that possbility taken away by the AIA putting the program on probation.
2. Coaches undoubtedly will be up in arms when the executive board ruled that games outside sectional play will be scheduled by region chairs, as opposed to coaches and athletic directors drawing up the schedule themselves. I can understand why the coaches wanted more autonomy, but the computer scheduling committee – which made the region chair recommendation – feared that some schools would have a difficult time filling out their schedules.
Coaches also need to remember that the computer scheduling committee is made up of administrators from schools and districts across the state, so it’s not as if the AIA made the decision in some vaccum of information.
The new system should work – as long as region chairs truly listen to the input from coaches and ADs and try to comply to their wishes. Will there be some unhappy coaches when the schedules are finally released? No question. Not every coach is going to get every game they want. But, given the improvements made Monday – smaller sections, true section champs, etc. – having region chairs draw up the non-sectional schedule shouldn’t be cause for great consternation.