LHSAA Could Keep Controversial Split Playoff System
Don't get too excited thinking about the LHSAA getting rid of their split playoffs for football. They still have time to do the wrong thing.
LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine whipped up a tumult of emotion with his announcement regarding the legality of the process that changed the sport of high school football in the state of Louisiana. According to a lawyer they hired, they violated their own constitution getting the split approved. Due to the complication, the LHSAA will bring the topic of the split back up in their meetings at the end of this month.
Does it look like the LHSAA will do away with the split playoffs? Yes. Is it the best decision for the sport? Most likely. Will it happen? Maybe not.
When the LHSAA decided to move to the split playoffs, the motion was passed by a sizable margin in the vote (206-119). What makes anybody think the same parties won't still have their heels dug into the sand?
Splitting the playoffs watered down the product for the "non-select schools," leading to winless teams making it into the postseason and terrible matchups in the early rounds. It created powderkegs in the "select" brackets, but at what cost? Also, will the public schools be OK with having some of the loaded private schools re-enter their bracket? There are a lot of dynamics that could keep this split in place, so don't let yourself go down the path back to five championship games just yet.
The vote was unanimous on social media: players and fans alike were excited to hear the split playoffs were going away. The only opposition was found from school accounts, which is why I want to include a little plea in this article to the LHSAA Executive Board and all the people that will make this decision.
Do the right thing. Give the people want they want. For once, put aside selfish bureaucracy and make a decision to benefit the public.
That might be too much to ask. The problem is, fans aren't allowed in board rooms. Players aren't allowed to walk into the meetings and tell the men and women making the decisions how they really feel. If that were the case, the LHSAA wouldn't have dared to make the split in the first place.
Simplifying the playoff format back down to five brackets would not only give the fans what they want, it would also help solve a logistical nightmare created by the split. Sense only goes as far as dollars though, and we will all see if the LHSAA's heart is in the right place on this vote.
They have the chance to right their wrong. Will they take it?