The July PIAA Board of Directors meeting will begin shortly, that being a relative term when it comes to the starting time of BOD meetings.  Think 7:15 at the earliest.

The first hour of the BOD will be very dull, all co-operative sponsorships, mostly from District 12.

All right, PIAA Board president Rod Stone decides to approve them by district, not individually.  We’re flying through them.  Best BOD move ever.

This is interesting.  Back in May, PIAA approved a new co-operative sponsorship guideline.  Previously, schools that agreed to a co-op (two schools sharing an athletic program) could have no more than 225 students of one gender to be eligible, and the PIAA counted 100 percent of a sending school’s students toward the receiving school’s enrollment.  In May, PIAA changed that to a maximum of 300 students and counted just 50% of the sending school’s enrollment.

That left PIAA with a problem.  Several schools jumped at the opportunity to create co-ops under the new rule, which was enacted on July 1.  But that left some existing co-ops formed under the old rule in an unfair position.  The Board wrinkled its brow and considered changing the effective date of the new co-op policy, moving it back to July 1, 2012.  In the end, the Board tabled the issue for the night and decided to re-visit tomorrow morning.

A rare Thursday executive session has been called to discuss its response to the recent state law (Act 24 of 2011) affecting students whose schools have terminated one or more athletic programs for budgetary reasons.

Back in regular session!  The state-imposed transfer rule should be up soon.

By the way, all of the items discussed in the earlier Strategic Planning Committee meeting (15-week football, the death of reclassifying public and private schools differently, etc) will not be discussed tonight.  Those items will be brought to the Board Friday morning.

The state-imposed transfer rule is up now.

Pa. School Boards executive director Thomas Gentzel questions some language in the PIAA proposal, wondering why the PIAA is requiring a student who wishes to transfer to be a member of the team of the sport in the year prior to the sport being eliminated.  Gentzel pointed out that if a sport was not offered five years out, that does prohibit a transfer?  PIAA legal counsel Alan Boynton said it was written to prevent a student from taking advantage of a loophole in the state law that permitted a student to transfer even his particular sport wasn’t eliminated.

Example: School A drops lacrosse. Student B did not play lacrosse, but played football, decides to take advantage to transfer using the loophole.  Boynton said the language close that loophole.

The Board votes 27-1 to accept the PIAA language as is, but reserved the opportunity to modify the language based on concerns that might arise once district committees have a chance to discuss the new rule.

Whether this will satisfy the General Assembly remains to be seen.

Interesting point on the new rule.  Any student who takes advantage of the new rule must enroll at the new school; he or she cannot remain at his home school and play for another school.  However, students who do transfer under this rule do not have to move into the new school district.  In addition, the receiving school may deny the transfer, not for athletic intent, which is not applicable in this case, but for other legitimate reasons.

Some good financial news for PIAA: Spring revenues, usually a small or even negative number, were $39,000 in the black, according to business manager Greg Biller.  That’s a help after May’s bad news on the revenue side.  Biller still expects a loss for the fiscal year, probably in the range of $47,000, but said he expected a worse loss given the weak basketball ticket sales this year.

Meeting still going on, but has hit a slow patch with staff reports.

  4 Responses to “PIAA Board of Directors meeting (Thursday)”

  1. “In May, PIAA changed that to a maximum of 300 students and counted just 50% of the sending school’s enrollment.”

    Rod, is it the sending school regardless of which school has the larger population? I got the impression from a comment Brad Cashman made previously that it was the smaller school whose count was adjusted — so in a case like the co-op in my region, the host school would be the one cut in half.

  2. My error, Jeff. It is 50% of the smaller school.

  3. Rod -if a school (AAA) who has wrestling drops there program and a smaller doubleA school takes these students for their wrestling program under the coop program. If the AAA has more than the 300 same gender athletes can this coop even take place under the new rule? The problem I see is the AAA school will only send about 2-6 wrestlers to the smaller AA School which I am assuming will have to compete at the AAA level once they accept these coop students?

  4. Dan,

    Sorry about the delay in response. The short answer is that the Class AA school would become Class AAA if it adoppted the co-op. Even though the PIAA modified the co-op rule to count only 50 percent of the smaller school’s enrollment, it would include all of the larger school’s enrollment, necessarily making the receiving school Class AAA.

    As to the 300-student threshold, I believe PIAA would accept the co-op if the smaller school is willing to accept the other school. The 300-student rule is in place basically to keep large schools from merging programs. Look at Cedar Cliff and Red Land. They are merging their athletic programs, but they cannot do it through a co-op. They both must withdraw from PIAA, create a new entity, and apply for application to PIAA.

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