CBP Series: Will the Competitive Balance Proposal Pass? Our conclusion is…

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OHSAA: Competitive Balance

Today we conclude our dissection of the OHSAA’s Competitive Balance Proposal with a look at how our panel voted and what we think. Regardless of the outcome from this year’s referendum, the debate will never totally subside


INTRO: What we’re doing and looking at

CBP Series Article 5: Will the Competitve Balance Proposal Pass?

That’s the question. And one we will find out the answer to May 17 or thereabouts. Until then the debate will continue and so will the indecisiveness.

Our panel was far from unanimous:

YES. Coldwater athletic director Eric Goodwin: “Unfortunately, I think it may pass. I think with the politics that take place out there, it may. And shame on the OHSAA for promoting this proposal and allowing it to get this far. It is also a shame if any school votes yes on this as well. (But) some schools will vote yes for one of two reasons – one, as a chance to ‘get back’ at the private schools. Shame on you if you vote for that reason. And two, as a chance for (their) school to be successful in the tournament. Shame on any school for looking for the easy way in. Try hard work.”

50/50. Alter athletic director and girls basketball coach Chris Hart: “I’m not sure. It feels unfair to me to ‘penalize’ teams/programs for their success in the postseason.”

NO. Marion Local volleyball coach Amy Stienginer: “I like things the way they are, based solely on enrollment and ‘No’ I do not think it will pass. Even though private schools won all of the state championships this year in every division in volleyball, it is not always like that and I have no problem with it.  Many public schools also win state titles in volleyball.  The biggest problem I have with it is the tradition factor. It just doesn’t make sense. And this is not going to affect the Division I private schools because they are still going to stay Division I even if their enrollment goes up. I know people around our area are not happy with it at all because they feel it will affect our small schools immensely.”

50/50. Columbus Watterson football coach Dan Bjelac: “I don’t have a great feel for (whether or not it’s going to pass or not). The question was asked at our State Football Clinic in February and very few coaches hands went up in favor of it but that is not their administrators. It penalizes you for success and is unequal in using different percentages for private and public schools in similar situations.”

YES. Wayne athletic director and football coach Jay Minton said: “I like the fact that they are trying something. Having been to two state title games and loosing to two schools that have no boundaries, stinks a little, but it is what it is and we try our best. I’m not real sure, but it probably will (pass). It seems like when there is something needing passed that affects the smaller schools, it always gets passed.”

50/50. Delphos St. John’s football coach Todd Schulte: “I’m not sure. (But) I sure hope not. (If it does) I believe it will ruin a good thing with the OHSAA.”

NO. Chagrin Falls football coach Mark Immarino: “The free and reduced lunch issue does not correlate. There are many low income districts that have outstanding athletic programs with rich traditions.”

50/50. Columbus Hartley football coach Brad Burchfield: “I have no idea if it will pass.  At the OHSFCA clinic, coaches were almost united in their stance against it.  But how (administrators) will vote in the secrecy of their own office is something else altogether.  The only thing that will surprise me is that if it is a landslide vote.  I suspect that this will be very, very close.”

YES. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary Athletic Director Andy Jalwan: “I do believe this issue will pass but my concern is that some public school leaders do not feel the referendum goes far enough. I do not believe that separate state tournaments would benefit any student-athlete in the state and I hope we don’t get to that point.”

50/50. Northmont football coach Lance Schneider: “I’m not sure (if it will pass), but instead of complaining about the imbalances, (how about) just striving to get better so you can compete.”

NO. Ada football coach Micah Fell: “It will be interesting to see how the vote comes out. At our (football coaches) clinic a big majority of the coaches were against the proposal. Personally, I think we have a great (playoff system) and should just leave it alone.”

For Fell to speak up against the proposal speaks volumes. He is one of the guys it’s designed to help.

For the past three years Fell has coached football teams that have gone 29-1 in the regular season and made the D-VI playoffs. Ada has been booted from the postseason three straight years by Delphos St. John’s, which has reached the state finals every time.

If Fell doesn’t think change is warranted, why should others? He’s not crying but some are. And the ballots go out today.

“I haven’t talked to enough people to have a pulse on whether it will pass or not and I haven’t decided myself yet how I would vote,” Centerville athletic director and football coach Ron Ullery said. “I don’t see it as really addressing competitive balance in most cases but only time will tell. Even though there’s not always inequities between private and public schools, I believe anyone who doesn’t believe the potential for unfair inequities exists in the current setup, is pretty oblivious to the reality of our system.

“I always use the example of a family living in Bellbrook. If, for whatever reason (academics, athletics, fine arts, facilities, etc.), they wanted their children to go to Centerville they would have to uproot the entire family and move. However, if for the same reasons, the same family wanted their children to go to Alter all they have to do is send them. No uprooting of their family at all. That’s the unfair advantage private schools have on public schools. I don’t blame this on the private schools. It’s our system as it is right now.”

“This
may truly be the downfall of a great organization,” Goodwin said. “I guess (the OHSAA) wants
the schools that have done things correct to start recruiting so that
they may compete with the new proposal. We are obviously against this
proposal greatly at Coldwater.

“I truly believe if this passes, it might
be the downfall of the OHSAA as we know it.”

CLOSING THOUGHTS
I appluad the OHSAA for trying to combat this issue and trying to do it in a ground-breaking and unique way. The truth is though that this proposal – however revolutionary – isn’t perfect and shouldn’t be passed. Will there ever be a perfect solution? No. But this isn’t the answer, it’s a starting point. There are things here that make sense (geographic boundaries) and things that don’t (tradition, no D-I impact). Personally, my vote would be for separate state tournaments.

As for the actual vote, one has to think that all private schools and nearly all Division I schools will vote ‘No’ for differing reasons, so the outcome will basically boil down to Ohio’s middle-sized and smaller schools. There will definitely be some ‘Yes’ votes, I just don’t think there will be enough to pass it.

Conclusion? No, the CBP will be voted down. (I’m guessing 65%-35% against).

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COMPETITIVE BALANCE PROPOSAL SERIES

Background: Dissecting the OHSAA’s “Competitive Balance Committee” proposal

Monday: What about Division I?

Tuesday: Penalizing
Success – throw the ‘Tradition Factor’ out

Wednesday: A
private school separation? (and would that really be a bad thing?)

Thursday: Did anyone even really want this? And if so, does this even answer why we’re talking about it?

Friday: Will the Competitive Balance Proposal Pass?

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