From 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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 601-364-1018.