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GHSA votes to split Class A playoffs

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 1:24 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 2:54 AM
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The Georgia High School Association’s Executive Committee voted Tuesday in Macon to split Class A public and private schools for the playoffs in all sports. The split will go into effect beginning with the 2012-13 school year.

Brendan Douglas (44) and Aquinas compete in a public-school region but might have to face private schools in the playoffs this year if they qualify.  Sara Caldwell/File
Sara Caldwell/File
Brendan Douglas (44) and Aquinas compete in a public-school region but might have to face private schools in the playoffs this year if they qualify.
Wayne Staats
High School Reporter
Twitter: @WStaats8
E-mail | 706-823-3425

“It’s a baby step forward for the small rural schools,” Washington-Wilkes football coach Robby Robinson said. “We still have many issues and problems out there. That’s just putting a Band-Aid on a big wound.”

One problem Robinson still sees is while this split helps Class A public schools, it’s not for Class AA. Washington-Wilkes is moving up to Class AA in the new six-classification system, and there are some private schools in Class AA.

The decision comes as some schools, most of which are in Class A, have discussed possibly leaving the GHSA. Robinson said the Georgia Public Schools Association – the possible new league – tentatively scheduled a meeting for Jan. 24.

Robinson said it's too early to tell if Tuesday's vote definitely ends any chances of the formation of the new association.

Lincoln County football coach Larry Campbell saw Tuesday's results as more definitive.

“It’s a done deal. There will be no pullout," he said. "Personally, I wasn’t for complete separation. My vote would have been to separate and then play each other for the state championship. That way you’d have a private school and a public school in every state championship.”

The vote put schools like Aquinas in an interesting situation.

In the new six-classification system, the Fighting Irish will play in Region 7-A with public schools, which creates issues when it comes to the split for the playoffs.

It hasn't yet been decided how teams would qualify for the playoffs. The problem is there are regions with a mix of both public and private schools, thus complicating matters. These regions were ratified on Tuesday.

Aquinas football coach Matt LeZotte said he sees both sides of the issue, and though the future isn't completely clear yet, he's with the GHSA.

“Regardless, we're going to suit up and play a season next year,” he said.

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David Parker
David Parker 01/10/12 - 02:10 pm
if things are unfair mixing

if things are unfair mixing the private with public and giving an advantage, i'd say this is over due anyway. Probably should get a bigger bandaid to avoid further discrepancy.

bleedsgreenandgold 01/10/12 - 04:54 pm
I can't understand the

I can't understand the advantage that a single A private school has over a public school?
Private school: tuition $5k to $15k
Public school: $0

Private School facilities: usually substandard or rented
Public School facilities: state of the art usually financed by SPLOST

Private school coaches/teachers salaries: 85% to 90% of public school rate
Public school coaches/teachers salaries: see above

Private school community support: typically small and fragmented, tied to children while in the school
Public school community support: typically large and concentrated, involving entire community

Don't see the advantages in athletics for the private schools, typically the public schools have bigger budgets, more bigger stronger and faster athletes, better facilities, more and more well paid coaches, and bigger broader community support, the public schools have all the advantages, now how they use their advantage that may be another story.

steele09 01/11/12 - 07:01 am
Aquinas being the exception

Aquinas being the exception to the rule. The other private schools actively recruit players and provide scholarships to those that can't pay. So there is a disadvantage to the public schools.

seeingmuchclearer 01/11/12 - 12:34 pm
Can anyone tell me the school

Can anyone tell me the school district that Aquinas pulls from?

bleedsgreenandgold 01/11/12 - 02:20 pm
Sure they "pull" from the St.

Sure they "pull" from the St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church, with a few (very few) from St. Joes, Holy Trinity, OLP, St. Mary Help of Christians, and St. Theresa's districts. With only around 240 kids Aquinas isn't "pulling" too hard from ANY school district. In all reality probably half the kids live in the Summerville neighborhood, and half are probably at least second generation kids.

seeingmuchclearer 01/11/12 - 04:56 pm
basketball team second

basketball team second generation? yea right!

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