LAFAYETTE (KATC) – Teurlings High School principal Mike Boyer says the LHSAA has struggled to pay schools their cut of the state football championship revenue, one of the driving forces behind his proposal to split state championship events between select and non-select schools.
The vote was approved by the LHSAA on Friday. It will create separate championship events for select schools for football, baseball, basketball, and softball. Select schools, or un-zoned schools, will play on neutral or home fields for their semifinal and championships games, as opposed the the “LHSAA Sugar Bowl” tournament sites that all schools currently do. The changes will start with football next fall, and will be applied to the other schools as their championship site contracts expire.
According to Boyer, the state football championships cost the LHSAA $580,000 this season, and in 2017 the league couldn’t afford to pay schools their cut. He says Hahnville was owed $14,000 and received half of it. Taking select schools’ four divisions out could cut roughly half of the cost.
Boyer says finance is just part of the conversation. He believes state championship tournaments have become too cumbersome with as many as 12 divisions playing semifinals and championship games at one location.
“Since we split football, six years ago, this is really the first time all the principals looked at an issue voted for what we best for student athletes, the schools and the LHSAA,” he said. “That’s a turnaround, that hasn’t happened in our January proposals.”