Could Proposed Alternative To LHSAA Really Work?
A lot of people don't like the LHSAA, but are they really ready to jump ship and start a new organization?
With the select/non-select split and the other bureaucratic decisions made by the LHSAA, several sources have soured on the organization's ability to govern high school athletics in the state of Louisiana. Schools and principals feel like their voices aren't being heard, and they're being offered a possible solution. It's called the Louisiana High School Sports Cooperative (LHSSC), and it's an escape ladder from the madness of the LHSAA.
In a letter addressed to schools all around the state, a group, led by former Bobby Jindal staffer Paul Rainwater, outlined a way for schools to leave the LHSAA.
Rainwater would be the Executive Director LHSSC, and membership would be open to all classifications of schools...if they can pay $15,000. It would be a one-time payment to enter the organization, and teams unable to pay the lump sum up front could have it worked into a "multi-year remittance." The total seems a bit hefty to the untrained eye, but the LHSAA charges its own fees throughout the year. It still might be too expensive for some schools to make the jump, but this movement is going to gain some traction.
The organization is seeking 60 members to start. If they reach that number, the LHSSC could start next season. It's hard to believe the gears of change could move that fast.
Of course, there are tons of complications to this proposed plan. Logistically, could they get enough teams to put together full schedules? How would the LHSSC set up their different classifications? Would it only add to an already chaotic climate in high school athletics in the state? You can read the LHSSC's proposed plan yourself, but even if it doesn't go through, it still has meaning. It means schools are fed up enough with the LHSAA to entertain another entity.
The annual LHSAA meeting this Spring didn't exactly go smoothly. In a chaotic couple days, the LHSAA kept their split and applied it to other sports as well. There were some harsh critics of the way the process was handled from the top down, with the split becoming a very volatile topic, and opposing sides ending up digging their heels in deeper. It appears the rift is very real, and it could lead to a departure from the LHSAA sooner rather than later.
Does this plan have the legs to take high school athletics where they need to be in Louisiana? The LHSSC might not be the end of the LHSAA, but it is certainly the beginning of something.