Another year, another round of disappointment for private schools in LHSAA

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Jesuit-McDonogh 35 football scrimmage
(Photo: Stephen Lew)

Every January, we hear about hope that in someway the Louisiana High School Athletic Association will somehow end its split playoffs.

This year, it was the irrational hope that somehow enough public schools principals would vote to unify the basketball playoffs. That somehow the two groups would gather around the proverbial camp fire, roast marshmallows and sing Kumbaya.

Then the vote happened, and the proposal for reunification failed by almost a two to one vote. The predictable happens.

The private school coaches express dismay that the vote failed, and the schools resign themselves to accept the crumbs thrown to them by public school principals.

Here’s the latest.

In 2018-19, the private schools will host their boys and girls basketball championships a week before the publics.

And this is progress?

Really?

As I attend practices and games involving private and parochial schools, coaches complain about the dysfunction of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.

Many of these conversations are off the record of course, because these coaches fear for their jobs. If they speak out publicly, they risk the possibility of losing them.

One particular school system put out a gag order on their coaches.

Heaven forbid, don’t offend an organization that slaps you in the face every January so you sit there and take it.

It is like the spouse who sits at home for five years in denial, hoping that their significant other who left them, will somehow return.

It is nonsensical thinking.

My question is the same it has been for five years. If the LHSAA is a dumpster fire, why can’t the private and parochial schools form their own league and compete?

Coaches are always preaching compete to their players, but when they and their administrations have a chance to tell the LHSAA to take a hike, they cower and accept any morsel they can get.

I have heard all the arguments against a new league.

“We don’t have enough schools in North Louisiana,” they say.

“The extensive travel during a school week would be difficult,” they say.

On and on … with a shopping cart full of excuses.

Whatever happened to line up and whip the person across from you?

The public schools have said their piece over and over. And, they are the majority. No need to debate that.

The re-unification ship sailed in January of 2013, with the football split.

Five years later, some live in an alternative high school universe.

Re-unification, at some point, is fake news.

There are a lot of coaches in the public schools who desire to play their select counterparts in the playoffs.

But hey they have families to feed, and retirements to protect. So, they remain silent.

I get it.

I hear from you, too.

But, for the life of me, I can’t fathom why the private schools get smacked in the face every January and them come back for more.

I guess in a state that reveres tradition, it is another.

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Ed Daniels

Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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