Agree or disagree with the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s approved competitive balance plan, schools must now prepare for the changes. The OHSAA is doing the same.
“As we stated from the beginning of the process, this is a journey; this is a starting point for us,” OHSAA commissioner Dan Ross said Friday. “We’re going to be very, very busy working on getting this started.”
It has started the process of bringing in compliance monitors whose job is to make sure schools are truthful about their roster numbers and where kids are coming from. According to Ross, the group is made up of retired athletic directors, principals, superintendents and other people with past experience with high school athletics.
“This is not a lucrative position,” he said. “These are stipend and they get a pass to go to ball games.”
One of the things the compliance monitors will be prepared to do is walk the ADs through the process to make sure they understand what they’re submitting, especially the first time around.
“These people will be going into schools to help ADs and help schools,” Ross said. “This isn’t a gotcha; it’s more of a ‘let’s try to make sure we can stay out of trouble.’”
The hope is to have everything in place prior to the 2015-16 school year and use that as a trial run before the changes officially go into effect the next season.
The planned changes, which passed by 88 votes (411 to 323), will allow the public to see where students are coming from. Ross said they’re going to be careful about giving out specific locations of where kids live, but rather whether or not the student came up through the district.
“It would certainly help keep things on the straight and narrow,” Ross said. “That way if the school next door says, ‘Wait, I know there’s five kids [not four] that come from an outside area,’ then I have a feeling we’d have a compliance monitor in there.”
The OHSAA is still finalizing penalties for schools found to be submitting incorrect enrollment numbers or not using the multipliers. But Ross said they’re not going to be taken lightly.
“If somebody makes an honest mistake, we will probably have a fine,” Ross said. “If somebody is playing games with their roster and they’re falsifying the numbers, they’re probably going to be removed from the tournament in that sport.”
Is it a perfect formula?
“I very strongly believe that this is a start, and it’s probably a very, very good start,” Ross said. “But anytime you put anything in place there’s always going to be things that come up.
“When we come across those things, our competitive balance committee will deal with those.”
Ross said it is important to note that any future changes to the formula will go back to the schools for a vote.
“They’re going to control those changes,” he said. “They’re going to have input in the changes and I really like that.”