MURFREESBORO – No landmark decision was made Thursday at the DoubleTree Hotel.
Instead, the TSSAA punted on deciding a solution to the public-private debate despite discussing the issue for 16 months.
Folks, newborns can learn to walk and say a few words in 16 months. Surely, a decision on what to do with public schools and private schools can also be made in that time.
And that is where the frustration comes from various high school coaches and administrators. While this admittedly is a difficult decision, this isn’t rocket science.
Folks have been asking for a split for years. This is nothing new. Only the players in the issue have changed over time.
There have been people screaming that student employment should be considered financial aid for years. It is considered aid for college students.
Ditto for the concept of non-athlete siblings of athletes receiving aid. It’s not difficult to see why a public school would complain regarding that being a form of financial aid.
Those two issues, if addressed by the TSSAA, help close the divide between public and private schools.
So do we need two more months until a proposed bylaw change is addressed? We spent the last month looking at five different proposals.
Couldn’t this have been addressed during that time?
Valid questions. TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress said it took his staff 15 months to get to the root of the issue. It took that long for those wanting a split to give concrete reasons.
But why did it take a squeaky wheel to get to this point?
Look, I get it. Everyone is trying to tread cautiously on this issue. A total split would change the high school athletic field as we know it. There is no easy decision.
But at some point there comes a time to present the best plan and make a decision. That time was supposed to be Thursday.
Instead, we all received a two-month pass until next time. And if no decision is made in September the next vote wouldn’t likely be until December.
We can see where this is headed.
Perhaps it is a good thing that this doesn’t go into place until the 2017-18 school year. At this rate all of that time might be needed.
So what happens next? We wait. It’s something that everyone is getting used to these days.
Tom Kreager is high school sports writer of The Daily News Journal. Contact him at 615-278-5168 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.