And you thought I died.

At the the PIAA Board of Directors meeting, the first with Dr. Robert Lombardi as the new executive director and Jim Zack, superintendent of Shamokin as president.

The news tonight?  Looks like we’ll find out who the new assistant executive director will be (the recommendation will be made tonight, according to agenda) and the 2012-2013 pairings and brackets will be approved.  The big deal there:  There are two basketball proposals, a “traditional” set of brackets and another set that groups district placewinners regionally.

We’ll update frequently.

OK, it is a little odd without Brad Cashman at the center of the head table and numerous long-standing members absent like Rod Stone (District 1), Ray Wotkowski (District 6), Jack Wabby (District 11).  Not a bad thing, just odd.

Director of Business Affairs Greg Biller gives the bad news: PIAA was approximately $36,000 below budget for spring sports.  For the 2011-2012 school year, it looks like the PIAA will lose money, down about 1.5% from last year’s bottom line.  Biller did not provide a dollar figure.

Biller did say that one of PIAA’s increased costs is holding events at college facilities.  Biller gave some examples, and noted that costs were nearly double at college sites than similar events held at high school sites.

Fast-moving meeting has suddenly slammed into a wall.  District 7 is raising all kinds of concerns – 11 of them – about the pending Competitive Spirit Championships.  The D-7 reps read each concern verbatim.  Serious buzzkill (such as there’s a buzz at a BOD meeting).  But the concerns are legit.

Biggest concern from D-7 is that it hasn’t received enough information from PIAA to properly conduct a district championship.  It has also raised concerns about the number and quality of available officials (which will not be registered with PIAA), the way entrants are classified and whether males will be permitted (at current, no).

Lots and lots of discussion.  Lengthy but necessary: the PIAA championship is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, at Hersheypark Arena, and districts have to complete their championships at least a week before the state championship.  Most districts will be conducting their first spirit championships this year.

Hersheypark Stadium is retained as the site for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 PIAA Lacrosse Championships.  Lacrosse was bid out with the idea that a District 1 / District 12 site would have a big advantage (D1 and D12 teams have reached every state final since adoption in 2009), but the beautiful PP&L Park in Chester came in at $20,000, oddly enough a round $20,000 higher than Hersheypark, which offered the Stadium free for the next two years.

Dr. Lombardi does not reveal the name of the recommended new assistant executive director.  Reason: The Human Resources Committee has not made its recommendation yet; the only recommendation has come from staff.  So it won’t be a done deal until Friday morning.

Should be getting to the brackets and pairings soon.

Well, shut my keyboard.  Pairings and brackets have been pushed to Friday, and the meeting has been adjourned.

Back tomorrow morning around 8.

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