May 1, 2013 2:27 PM
A Louisiana House bill that would have basically banned Louisiana high school athletes from participating in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association's championship competitions has been withdrawn from consideration before it was even introduced.
Rep. Bob Hensgens, of Gueydan, had filed House Bill 267 in response to the LHSAA's policy changes earlier this year that would have segregated public and private schools from facing each other in playoff competition, instead creating two separate championships.
"We had worked out some agreement with LHSAA, "Hensgens said Wednesday. "They made some of the changes we asked for. They did not go all the way there, but we feel they will continue negotiations."
Hensgens was scheduled to introduce the bill in the House Education Committee meeting Wednesday morning, but instead deferred action on the item. Some of the ground already gained in negotiations dealt with the number of divisions available to the state's private school athletes and inclusion of other schools.
"They will add five championships instead of the two that were originally offered, and they have also added some charter schools," Hensgens said. "There is still help we can get where we want to be."
One change that will not be made so far is a return to a single championship bracket. Public and private schools will have their own trophies this year.
Hensgens' bill, if passed, would ban public schools from taking part in athletic contests that used school admission criteria to select the participants.