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UPDATE — Why is the history-depraved Smithville principal such a chicken?

Sports Equipment on WhiteFrom a Clarion Ledger report, the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s 13 private schools won’t be going anywhere, at least not anytime soon.

A proposal aimed at banning private schools from the association stalled Thursday morning, when members of the MHSAA Executive and Legislative Council failed to motion the proposal forward.

“There was no discussion,” MHSAA executive director Don Hinton said. “It was brought up as a proposal to be acted upon, but it was never motioned to be brought to a vote.

“I wouldn’t expect this proposal to come back up anytime soon.”

» Read entire story here …




Original story from Wednesday ….


I started hearing rumors of this back in the summer when I read a story in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal about Northeast Mississippi coaches having voted 40-3 to expel private schools from the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

Now, I read the MHSAA’s overall legislative council is expected to vote Thursday on the expulsion of 13 private schools from the association. Smithville principal Chad O’Brian, who introduced the proposal at the District 1 fall meeting, according to the Daily Journal, says the schools have an unfair advantage in recruiting students.

Apparently, a Calhoun City coach agrees with the Smithville principal.

“I think all the coaches in the state are on the same page with this proposal,” Calhoun City coach Daren Coffey said. “I hope this time we can get it done for the sake of the kids and the coaches.”


“Among the coaching community, there’s felt to be a lot of discrepancies over who can transfer and when they’re eligible,” O’Brian told the Clarion-Ledger.

O’Brian went on to tell the Ledger that when his school played Greenville’s St. Joseph Catholic School in the baseball playoffs last year, some of that school’s players lived in Arkansas.

“They play for the Mississippi High School Activities Association,” O’Brian said. “By name and definition, it’s unfair.”

There sure is a bunch of chicken to go with that whine, isn’t there?

Can’t they take a little competition? Shouldn’t we be teaching our kids that competition is a good thing?

I hate to pull the “way back” card, but here goes.

Way back when I was in junior high and high school in Cleveland, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on Greenville St. Joe, and Arkansas kids were playing for the Fighting Irish then. So what. We viewed that as an easy win.

In respect to the residency argument, however, according to the 2012-2013 School Audits Comprehensive Annual Report from the Mississippi Student Information System, 96 percent of the public school districts failed to verify student residency.

Therefore, how can anyone make the claim that one school is allowing out-of-district students to participate in athletics when just 4 percent of all schools have verified residency.

But give me a break.

There needs to be a little perspective here.

We need to remember that most of the 13 schools on the chopping block were the private schools that, 50 years ago, were willing to take the heat, and a lot of it, for allowing African Americans to attend to their schools as well as participate in athletics. At the time, most private schools were being created for the expressed purpose of keeping African Americans out.

Fifty years ago, most of the private schools in question couldn’t have played against the schools of, what is now, the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools, even if they had wanted.

We should be applauding the Greenville St. Josephs of the world for helping Mississippi to progress to be a part of the real American melting pot.

Instead, principals, like Chad O’Brian in Smithville, would rather throw history and progress out the window because he, and people like him, can’t take the heat.

You afraid of losing to schools like Greenville St. Joe, St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis or Cathedral in Natchez?

Maybe these principals need a little history lesson and then they can tell their coaches to go out and coach-up their boys and girls a little more.

» MBJ Editor Ross Reily can be reached at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or 601-364-1018.



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About Ross Reily

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  1. Competition is fine – no problem with that.
    They take the best from their district and we take the best from ours and compete. But their district lines are a 20 miles radius. For public schools not nearly that far – if so say Nettleton could recruit from Tupelo or Amory , etc.
    We aren’t afraid of competition long as everyone is on the same playing field, and I don’t believe that’s true when you throw private schools in the mix. That’s just my opinion and your entitled to yours. Nettleton has faced Saint Patrick 3 fast pitch seasons in a row at the state championships and their roster has changed significantly every year with NO one sitting out because of transferring in? That makes me question the whole private school issue.

  2. I do not think you understan the point herein has to do with the fact that if that parent pays for the child to go to the private school then they can. It does not matter where they are from. A public school has to use students in that district. They have a limited amount of kids to play. So I ask does that put public schools at a disadvantag? I the private school would say we can only have kids with in 15 miles then that would be a little more fair!

  3. The point is what you see as the issue:

    You see the issue as Private Schools.

    The issue is the enforcement of transferees Private to Public, Public to Private, Public to Public

    If there is something illegal going on, then it needs to be brought forward. The rules are the same.

    One point to consider in the private schools: they may have a larger district but please look at the number of students going to the school versus yours. They have far less students….even with 20 miles.
    The tuition will keep many from attending a private school.

    High schools go up and down with talent year in and year out….if there is something suspect with a school, deal with that school. Don’t try to lump all those that don’t look like you.

    It just feels like you want to take all your toys and go home because you didn’t win.

  4. I think the MHSAA needs to get their head out of the sand…..they are allowing the private schools to recruit year after year. MHSAA needs to enforce the eligibility for each player. With the public small schools their rosters stay bascially the same year after year. The public 1A schools typically have small numbers of graduating players while the private schools have as many as 16 seniors on the roster, with many of those players not even on the roster the year before. When you look at Max Prep for Greenville St Joe roster from last year to this year you will find many new Junior and Senior year players that were not on the roster last year. Have all these new players set out the required 1 year to be eligible? Private schools have the support of private donations to support kids with athletic abililtes which in turn creates unfair playing field for public schools. Private schools should play in the private school playoffs where they all have the same set of guide lines to follow and less bending of the rules to be allowed.

  5. I applaude OBrian. Its time someone proposed something like this.Now the private schools can have their own division.

  6. Coach O Brian is a chicken

  7. Really does standing up for something you believe in make you a chicken???? I don’t think so. And it is time that MHSAA enforces the very guidelines they set up. While I am sure not all private schools are bending the rules, it’s the few that are and not being forced to follow the rules that has brought this to light. If MHSAA would look at all rosters and verify the eligibilty of players then this would not be an issue. But the private schools are allowed to bring in players just in time to create a team that will advance them far into the play offs year after year…while the public schools are bound by the guide lines.

  8. Public schools have one athletic association mhsaa

    Private schools have MAIS. And MPSA

  9. Private schools have the funds to recruit kids with athletic ability? Hey, this is high school, not one of the NFL’s farm club colleges! Suck it up, Chad, and take your licks where you find them.

  10. I agree with Bob!

  11. If the public schools are ever going to see a fair and level playing field, the coaches and administrations from all public schools need to continue making noise about this. While some private schools may abide with the rules, certain ones do not. And we all see them advance far into playoffs year after year. These private schools are allowed to bring kids in (create tournament teams) and allowed by the MHSAA to play the year they arrive without sitting out the required year. Has MHSAA verified all the new players that are on rosters that are not freshmen? Public schools are held to this standard and must play with kids within their district. Shame on MHSAA for catering to the private schools.

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