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OHSAA: No again to competitive balance initiative

Published: Thu, May 17, 2012 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Rob Todor


Here’s what we know about the public versus private debate among Ohio high schools:

A lot of people think something needs to be done. Finding a solution that a majority of them can agree on is like some athletic search for the Holy Grail.

For the second year in a row, a “competitive balance” initiative, proposed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, was narrowly voted down.

The final results — 339 against, 301 for — were almost identical to the 2011 balloting, which failed 332-303. The votes are submitted by the state’s 826 high school principals.

The initiative, had it passed, would have changed how schools are assigned to tournament divisions in the team sports of football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and volleyball.

Currently — and since the OHSAA split into classes more than 50 years ago — schools are assigned strictly by male and female enrollment. The proposal also would have taken into account factors such as whether a school has open enrollment, the number of its students on free and reduced lunch programs, and a tradition factor.

That tradition factor was far and away the most controversial aspect of the proposal. In the 2011 proposal, many felt that schools were penalized too harshly for past tournament success. The OHSAA tweaked the factor, and this year, it was believed not to have much of an affect at all.

“I knew the voting would be very, very close,” said Dr. Dan Ross, OHSAA Commissioner, in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “I’m a little surprised [it failed].”

All but certain to come next is a proposal to have separate tournaments for public and non-public high schools. That proposal will come not from the OHSAA, but from the schools themselves. A group of superintendents in Wayne County have led a drive to separate the OHSAA, a proposal that has generated some support around the state.

If the group can generate the required signatures and have it submitted to the OHSAA by Dec. 1, it will be on the next referendum ballot in May 2013.

It’s a slippery slope and one Ross does not personally endorse.

“There is a coalition of people who support [separation] across the state,” Ross said. “They believe it is the right thing for them and their students.

“I guess we have to agree to disagree.”

Twice before the OHSAA held a vote to separate the schools. In 1978, the proposal was defeated by a 3-1 margin. In 1994 it was defeated 63 percent to 37.

“Separation of the tournament would be an extreme, hopefully we wouldn’t get there,” Ross said. “I’d like us to try to find a middle road. We just haven’t hit that place where more than 50 percent of our schools are comfortable.

“I truly believe it’s a wonderful system. Today’s vote indicates that 52 percent would like to stay where we are, 48 percent would like a change.”

Regardless of what happens, Ross said it’s an issue that won’t go away.

“There’s not ever going to be a system that’s perfect,” he said. “It’s a journey and not everyone’s going to be comfortable with any format.”


1taxme(355 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Does this really surprise anyone? Open enrollment schools don't want competative balance. The only way to go is seperate playofffs for public and private. Still not the same as competative balance because that does nothing to correct public schools that can recruit with open enrollment. And lets all quit thinking everyone is stuppid. Private schools recruit no matter what you call it and so do Open enrollment public schools so I really don't care about anyone who responds and says they don't recruit because its a out right lie! So you are a liar if you say that because you don't believe what your saying yourself! Or your try to discise it as something else. But no matter how you view it its recruiting.

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2HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Just like everything else corrupt in Ohio, the OHSAA and the cheater schools prefer the status quo. The OHSAA makes a ton of money and the cheater schools can "attract" students via promises of state titles. It's recruiting plain and simple. Congratulations Mooney and Ursuline for teaching that cheating pays.

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3soldierboy(4 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe the member schools of the OHSAA got it right again. To be the best you must play the best. And to comment on the recruiting to the uninformed, 1- the vast majority of the Mooney football players have come up thru the catholic feeder schools and have never been in the public school system, so how is that recruiting?. 2-the other parents/students who choose a private school want the best opportunity for their children to succeed. There are reasons why Mooney kids receive so many scholarships. Try dedication, tradition and superior coaching. Maybe if the local schools would go out and schedule better competition they would be better prepared for the playoffs (HOWLAND).

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4YtownSports(278 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Not all parochial schools are dominant or even prevalent in most sports. Do they not "recruit" or do they just do it poorly? Do schools with open enrollment recruit? You can bet that some do. Some schools without open enrollment have been accused of recruiting or have been assumed to be recruiting. Will changing the OHSAA rules change any of that? It's doubtful. If OHSAA membership sets up separate tournaments for parochial schools, you can bet there'll be a lawsuit. I'm not sure there's a good answer except to make the definition of recruiting very specific and to somehow make certain that it is effectively enforced.

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5taxme(355 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I expected the same old repetative crap from you parochial people. Kinda feel insulted that you think your so superior that you could say over and over yoi dont recruit and gee step it up and play up to be better. What jokes. Ya south range step it up. Doesnt matter they or crestvieq could never beat schools like ursuline or mooney. You Recruit. Go to one of your camps amd see it for yourself. Im done with this. Liars everyone of you. Seperate playoffs are in the near future Thank GOD! Ya GOD

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6biggee(43 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Taxme....your going to say the parochial schools recruit. I know you are.see I am right. The fact is they recruit every student they get. Wish they would put what elementry school every kid went to. Do you think they only take the best athletes from say Poland and send them to Mooney? My guess is those kids attended Holy Family. But if you would investigate this then you could not blame "recruting"for the less than stellar football teams your school fields. Get better on your own and quit crying.....yu people are really looking silly!....just sayen

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7taxme(355 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

blah blah blah blah blah. same old rederic from you and your parents. Please study your bible and quit telling fibs about not recruiting. Just man up. No one says ALL just one makes it recruiting. and quite frankly I could give a sh-t but Hypocracy pisses me off!

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8taxme(355 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Thank you for manning up and being honest and admitting your school recruits. I have all the respect for you but its the liars that continue to say you don't recruit that put a black eye on the two parochial schools. Well that and the ones that think there was nothing wrong with cigars and champagne on school property.

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