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Athletic ‘balance’ push for schools rejected

Published: Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 12:08 a.m.

By Rob Todor


A hotly debated initiative that would have changed the landscape of Ohio high school athletics was narrowly defeated Tuesday.

The so-called “competitive balance” between public and nonpublic schools was set to a vote of school principals in the state.

The measure failed, 332-303, a vote close enough that it is likely the issue will not go away.

The referendum would have taken every high school’s student enrollment in grades 9-11, then used factors such as how students are secured (i.e., open enrollment), the number of students on the free-lunch program, and the school’s tradition in team sports as multipliers.

Greg Cooper, athletic director at Canfield, was a member of the Competitive Balance Committee, formed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, which studied the concerns and forwarded the referendum to the OHSAA for the vote.

“I think the vote shows that there is a growing number of people who feel that there is some systemic imbalance,” said Cooper, “but it also shows there is certainly a disagreement on what is the best way to solve it.”

Cooper emphasized that the recommendation was not a be-all, end-all.

“It was not intended to be a panacea,” he said. “The whole purpose was to identify that there are differences between school districts. ... It’s going to be interesting now to see where we go from here, or if we do anything.”


1Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 4 years ago

Here is the hypocrisy of the "competetive balance" movement; the cultural, social and political make-up of the MAJORITY of the people behind this movement trend toward the Republican, Tea-Party types and in general they are the ones who decry government intervention into anything. But yet they want intervention in high school athletics.

They are the folks from the suburbs and the conservative small towns across Ohio who are deadset against programs like affirmative-action for non-white groups that would make a "competitive balance" in the workplace and society, places of seriousness in everyday life, not for a sporting event. It all screams hypocrisy, but these folks would never admit to that.

What about all the years of the "mythical state championships" where certain schools like Massilon and Canton McKinley, by name recognition alone, had an unfair advantage over the rest of the high school teams? The irony of the mythical championships is that since the playoff system in football started, Massilon has NEVER won a state championship.

The triumphs of a an inner-city team like Ursuline should be a lesson to all those folks from rural Ohio who tend to still maintain racial bias and who seem to have the most animosity toward the first black President of the United States, an event that they never thought they'd witness in their lifetimes. In the playoffs Ursuline played a majority of all-white teams from towns like Findlay and Coldwater; teams that never play against teams with African-American players. These are the teams that are now begging for a "competitive balance." Well, the African-American players from teams like Ursuline have a "competitive unbalance" from birth in American Society and the predominately white areas of Ohio would like to keep it that way. Anyone who can't see the hypocrisy in that is blind.

So at the end of the day I find the triumphs of schools like Ursuline, viewed from a different angle, a wake-up call for the conservative, pull yourself up by the bootstraps areas of Ohio; have your teams pull them selves up by the bootstraps, put on a helmet and compete without any help from the "governement", because in everyday life that is what you ask from the less fortunate members of our society.

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2FrankDavis(35 comments)posted 4 years ago

Are you an idiot??

The competitive unbalance comes from the fact that your "inner-city" Ursuline team has recruited the best players from all the schools. Did you know that Ursuline has a tuition rate that students must pay? How many of the athletes have full ride scholarships to play there? Who pays those scholarships? Alumni. In fact, alumni have even offered to help said athletes by providing room and board for them to continue going to Ursuline. The unfair advantage is that they (along with every other parochial school in Ohio) get to pick their athletes while the rest of the districts have to work with what they have.

I fully support separate championships for public schools and parochial schools. I'm tired of seeing St. Ed's (a predominately white catholic school district) run away with the wrestling state tournament each and every year. Your argument about race being a factor is moronic and completely irrelevant to the article.

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3mariocat777(3 comments)posted 4 years ago

What ever happened to separation of church and state??? Let the catholics play catholics and publics play publics.....problem solved....

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4valleyred(1102 comments)posted 4 years ago

I live in Austintown.
I went to Ursuline.
I played sports.
Was I recruited? NO!

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5Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 4 years ago

Frankie you missed the point, by a mile. "Life ain't fair." The poor
kids who attend ANY inner city school know that from day one. If you
want to make rules for a competitive balance on the field, then don't
be a hypocrite off the field by opposing things like 'affirmative
action" that level the playing field in life.

Folks like you tend to be "conspiracy theorists" anyhow, wondering if
Obama is a citizen, wondering if we really got Bin Laden. So
naturally, when an area team has an excellent program, you come up
with a theory that they "recruit" far and wide. Could it be that maybe
they have better coaches, better athletes who work harder and a better
program and that maybe the program at your school and the athletes
from your school are maybe not up to that caliber? No, its the
"recruiting" that does it. Nothing will change your mind because you
see "conspiracies" everywhere.

Well, keep this in mind. Folks like you, who cry that all of this is
soooo unfair, make my day. And I love it when a diverse inner-city school
thumps an all-white team from the suburbs or farm country. Just love
it!! Keep crying, buddy.

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6seminole(476 comments)posted 4 years ago

Rocky, Rocky, Rocky...way to turn this into a racial issue. So typical of your interests and "get ahead" thinking. Explain how the inner city kids can afford to go to Urusuline? Where do they reside? See, you thrive in the "get over" scheme proported by welfare and economic handouts, blasting those that actually work and do so with what they earn, not sucking on the Federal Reserve and taxpayers. Revel in your small minded racist enjoyment of watching inner city teams thump suburb/country teams, there are those of us that revel in watching inner city folks eliminate each other and parse the numbers feeding off our taxes.

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