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More than 30 schools discuss leaving Georgia High School Association

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 5:08 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011 1:32 AM
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Representatives of more than 30 schools met Tuesday and discussed the possibility of leaving the Georgia High School Association.

At the meeting in Rochelle, Ga., “about everyone” wanted to pursue this further, though more information is needed, Wilcox County principal Chad Davis said. The next step involves a committee meeting Dec. 21.

On Tuesday, Lincoln County and Washington-Wilkes were among the represented schools, most of which are in Class A.

“I think it was very successful,” Davis said. “It was a very good crowd.”

The main issue is Class A public schools’ concern about Class A private schools dominating in championships as a result of a perceived unfair advantages, such as scholarships and recruiting.

“A lot of things have been talked about, a lot of issues are there, some of which the GHSA has no control over,” GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin said. “We can’t control where people move in the state. We also can’t control the economic situations all our schools are facing.”

Because the GHSA is a voluntary association, Swearngin said the decision to leave is up to each school. Swearngin also said there were repeated attempts to work issues out, but whenever an idea was brought up, more problems arose..

With schools voting to continue the discussion, a new association might be formed, Davis said.

Washington-Wilkes football coach Robby Robinson is part of the committee that meets next week, and he said he doesn’t know what plan will be decided upon.

“We just want to do what’s best for the kids of our community,” Robinson said.

Davis said a potential new association would be for all sports and include such competitions as one-act play and debate.

“It entails everything,” Davis said.

The expectation is for next week’s meeting to result in bylaws and details interested schools need to know. Then, this information would be passed along to school boards.

If enough schools want to create a new association, Davis said he hopes it goes into effect fall of next year.

Comments (20) Add comment
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socks99
250
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socks99 12/13/11 - 06:55 pm
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0
How is the GHSA funded, and

How is the GHSA funded, and how much is the salary of the executive director? As for complaints that the private schools are cheating, why not ask for specifics, and report them?

joebowles
104
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joebowles 12/13/11 - 07:08 pm
0
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Funny that Coach Campbell

Funny that Coach Campbell (Lincoln Cty) had no problem scheduling Aquinas and other private schools for Homecoming games for the last 40 years. And now that they are becoming competitive they are complaining.....
Have fun with the increased travel costs in having to play in a new league......

Riverman1
90647
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Riverman1 12/13/11 - 07:49 pm
0
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Are the football stadiums big

Are the football stadiums big enough to hold the crowds for the one act plays?

Austin Rhodes
2970
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Austin Rhodes 12/13/11 - 10:14 pm
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LC already travels all over

LC already travels all over the state...BUT...how fair is it that these private schools get to handpick players and give out "scholarships" to whoever they want, and then compete against schools that can't?

...and Savannah Christian isn't competitive...they are customized and stacked.

ashleyb
8
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ashleyb 12/14/11 - 06:15 am
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It is not regarding the

It is not regarding the private schools locally. It is mostly schools in the Atlanta area and a few others like Savannah Christian. However, the problem is definitely not isolated to just Class A. The top 4-5 basketball teams in the state in Class AAAAA & Class AAAA are basically rebuilt every year with the top talent from the Summer AAU Circuit. I am not sure what the GHSA can do if kids move into an area. And Lincoln co. has actually benefitted from this is a few instances too. They had two key players on their team this year that would have played at Harlem & Lakeside, but their parents chose to move to LC's School District for better exposure in Football.

ashleyb
8
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ashleyb 12/14/11 - 06:22 am
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I am not saying LC has done

I am not saying LC has done anything wrong at all. What are they supposed to do if a kids moves to Lincolnton and wants to play football...Turn them away? Of course not. LC did not recruit these kids. However, in a lot of cases (Basketball is far worse than football) teams are recruiting players. It may not be the coach at the school doing it, but often times there are people (AAU coaches, etc.) that do steer players to certain schools. Sometimes kids simply want to go play for a winning program, but this is not the professional ranks. Kids are not free agents that can just go play for which ever team they choose. This has been a HUGE problem in the state of Georgia for a long time.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 12/14/11 - 06:53 am
0
0
Simple solution. If a student

Simple solution. If a student is recruited and has any part of his tuition, living expenses, etc., paid by anyone other than his parents, have him lose his amateur status. Of course, they'll have to check the parents bank accounts to make sure there are no fishy deposits.

Riverman1
90647
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Riverman1 12/14/11 - 07:09 am
0
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AshleyB, I guess you forgot

AshleyB, I guess you forgot our one local past private school baseball coach. I can personally tell you he recruited. He called my son many times trying to get him to leave Lakeside.

But this whole concept of forming a new league is crazy. They already put certain handicaps on private schools and make them "play up." Maybe they should make them play with 10 players on the field, legs tied together or not allow them to pass the ball.

Riverman1
90647
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Riverman1 12/14/11 - 07:10 am
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I'm not sure about now, but

I'm not sure about now, but the way it used to be in SC is if a kid left a school for any reason for another in state, he had to sit out a year.

Little Lamb
47980
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Little Lamb 12/14/11 - 07:46 am
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I don't understand the

I don't understand the problem Ashley wrote about:

Kids are not free agents that can just go play for which ever team they choose. This has been a HUGE problem in the state of Georgia for a long time.

It is a problem that kids are not free agents?

Riverman1
90647
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Riverman1 12/14/11 - 07:57 am
0
0
Okay, I'm all for kicking

Okay, I'm all for kicking private schools out of high school sports. Let's get rid of Notre Dame, too, while we're at it. I bet they'll never comeback to Clemson after their bus almost got turned over by Clemson fans in town.

naynay
3
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naynay 12/14/11 - 08:51 am
0
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I don't see anything wrong

I don't see anything wrong with the public schools forming a new league. It's not fair to our children to play private schools. LC has no problem traveling. But to play schools that recruit from all over the world. These private schools do not care; they know they are doing wrong and will keep doing so until something is done. The private schools play the public ones and then try to recruit their best players.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/14/11 - 09:43 am
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They have an excellent point.

They have an excellent point. And it's not just limited to Single A private schools. Many Atlanta private schools recruit & offer scholarships and that gives them a huge advantage.

Perhaps the GHSA should adopt rules to prevent this advantage they have. Such as, if they offer a 1-5 scholarships, they play up a level. If they offer 6-10 scholarships, they play up 2 levels.

They would also have to crack down on "gifts" & such just like the colleges do.

double_standard
166
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double_standard 12/14/11 - 09:54 am
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Burke County coach stated

Burke County coach stated that they provided bus service for the students that participate in after school activities. I saw no one complain about an unfair advantage. Why do we punish success?

diamondmom
7
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diamondmom 12/14/11 - 10:35 am
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Private schools that are

Private schools that are "sports oriented" schools shouldn't be allowed to be a part of the GHSA at all. Schools like Marist in Atlants, who have scouts recruiting and giving scholarship money to kids all over to come play sports at their school. If all of us don't have the benefit of hand picking our teams like these schools do, then they should not be a part of the GHSA...Fair is Fair.

diamondmom
7
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diamondmom 12/14/11 - 10:41 am
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Austin, you are absolutely

Austin, you are absolutely right... My son, is an athlete in a school with a very competetive baseball program, and they have to face Marist in the state playoffs every year, and it is just not fair that our team is made up of kids in our school district, and theirs is made up of the cream of the crop from all over....whose pockets were lined when these schools were allowed into the GHSA?

kiwiinamerica
961
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kiwiinamerica 12/14/11 - 11:18 am
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This is typical of the
Unpublished

This is typical of the America of today. Not good enough? Cry "foul", claim some sort of discrimination or disadvantage, take your bat and ball and go home. This country has become a nation of indolent whiners.

Waaaah........they're recruiting! Waaaaah...........it's not fair!

No, the real problem here is that private schools are better, period. Academically and athletically. Scholarships should not even be an issue because education at public schools is free. It's not like college where everyone has to pay so a scholarship becomes a huge incentive. However it has become an issue because parents know their kids will receive a better education at the private high school. THAT is what is at the heart of this issue because it allows private schools to recruit. If public education was all it's cracked up to be, who'd want a scholarship to a private school? It's not like you're saving money.

Public schools are full of ill-disciplined trash where education has been dumbed down and the bar is constantly being lowered. Nobody who can get a private education for their kids wants them to go to this type of establishment. THAT is the real problem here and these whiners know it.

john.q.publius
0
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john.q.publius 12/14/11 - 11:32 am
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Wow! Lots of piling on the

Wow! Lots of piling on the private schools today. I just did a quick survey of some private school websites, and the percentage of students who receive financial aid is anywhere from 30% to 50%. Since most of those schools start in Kindergarten, it makes no sense to suggest that the kids are getting "athletic scholarships" by getting financial aid. Taking techfan's approach would mean that, of all private school students, only the rich kids could play sports. And somehow that would benefit high school athletics? Don't get me wrong, I don't care which association a school belongs to, but some of the "logic" on display in these comments is a little lacking...

Little Lamb
47980
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Little Lamb 12/14/11 - 11:37 am
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So it's not fair for these

So it's not fair for these schools to seek good students or good athletes or good musicians, etc.???

Well, would you folks be happy if we allowed the private schools to play the public schools in sports, but when they win the tournaments, just not allow them to get the titles or the trophies??

That would be fair, I guess.

burrkilla
0
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burrkilla 12/14/11 - 02:52 pm
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What happened to the day when

What happened to the day when the "private" schools played sports in the GISA?? Also I remember when one act play and debate were programs that competed in the region and state for a title every year. I personally believe we should go back to the hay day of GHSA. As for the comments about LC and others being able to recruit, show me on paper where the two players from Columbia county were given free ride scholarships to play football this year. And I also agree if you jump schools after spring football practice you should have to sit out till next spring football. That would eliminate what happened this year after HARLEM took the beating they did at the hands of LC.

Raynman
0
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Raynman 12/17/11 - 07:59 pm
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The question really isn't in

The question really isn't in playing these other schools because LC has played higher classification schools, this is about playoffs. 1A doesn't compete in the playoffs against higher classified schools. Private schools have the luxury, and it is legal (that's why they call them private schools) to have students come from anywhere as long as they are willing to pay for that education. Private schools see this as an opportunity to raise money through recognition. It isn't coincidence that the four teams that made it to the top of each bracket were all private schools. To joebowles, you need to get all your facts straight. By the way, the GHSA works for the schools and not the other way around.

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