OHSAA Vote Won’t Solve Public vs. Private Problem

By Dave Schmidt – www.theseniorreports.com


April 10, 2013 - Here are just a few problems that will not be solved by the upcoming OHSAA vote on competitive balance.


1-      The Greater Miami Conference will continue to boycott Cincinnati Moeller.

2-      The Northwest Conference will not invite Lima Central Catholic (LCC) to rejoin the conference

3-      Tiffin Calvert will be turned down again by the Blanchard Valley Conference for membership during their recent expansion plans.


This not a new problem, it has been around a very long time, but one that no one wants to discuss and this vote will not change that.  When school officials do talk about it, you get the politically correct answer.  This may be this biggest problem in the issue – lack of open and honest communication between both sides.


In 2001 the Southwestern Rivers Conference (SRC) disbanded.  One of the members was (Sidney) Lehman Catholic.  While some schools already had a new conference home in place, Lehman needed one.  So they approached the Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC).  Yes, that is the same conference who claims over 100 state titles. Part of their  plan was to convince fellow SRC member and public school Versailles to apply as well.  Lehman did convince Versailles to apply and guess what the MAC members did?  They accepted Versailles and declined membership to Lehman the school who talked Versailles into applying. 


Why did the MAC not want Lehman?  “We already have one private school (Delphos St. Johns) and we sure don’t need another one.”  You can also add LCC to list of private schools that also applied to the MAC and were turned down.  Later LCC was asked to join the NWC, only to be asked to leave after winning numerous conference titles.  The MAC several years ago needed one more football member to make an “even” 10 members, did they ask Lehman, nope, and they added Anna a public school as a football only member.


This trend continues in that direction, sure some private schools have recently joined “mixed” conferences.  Those conferences are those lacking membership numbers.


As for the “new vote” on competitive balance it has some issues that will cause major “clerical” problems.  Who is responsible for overseeing the numbers and verifying they are correct.  How many times will schools argue the numbers of another school or if a student-athlete is out of the home school’s zone?  You think doing your taxes can be a ”nightmare”, this will make those forms look simple.  The more criteria you have in a formula the more problems you will have.  The KISS method is not a part of the equation in this process.   It will be interesting to see how many schools will be changing divisions or will the problems move to another division.  Could it all be a wash?


You might be surprised how many public schools wonder why they have to be a part of this problem and will have to report open enrollment numbers.  Plus as we move forward more and more charter schools will become OHSAA members and that will cause a problem at the lower divisions by pushing smaller public schools up to a larger division. 


Another focus with the OHSAA will be the addition of the seventh football division and how those change the landscape of private schools winning titles. Large Division I members don’t really see many changes taking place for them.  The addition of the seventh division and the new “multiplier” most likely will set-off additional conference changes (again).  Computer points once again being the “evil villain” in the process might cause a school to lose a play-off opportunity. Losing points because a school drops down and one move up will have to be considered.  Conference changes have been rampant over the last several years; this will most likely start it all over again.


Do you think this plan will stop private schools from winning a large percentage of OHSAA titles?  That is what the plan seems to be pushing, but it won’t do that.  Public schools will still think that private schools are recruiting their kids, which will most likely always be an issue. No plan will change that.


What is the solution?  I think if there was a way to make “everyone” happy we wouldn’t have 49 other states doing it all in a different way.  To this day other states are facing the same issue as Ohio. The OHSAA has a “tough row to hoe” in this very important issue and it is a long way from being solved.



Other items of interest-

PUBLIC VS PRIVATE – GMC Boycotts Moeller



What are they saying - OHSAA  To Vote On A New Multiplier


Lima Central Catholic AD Ron Williams talks about the Private vs Public issue LCC faced this year...