The South Carolina High School League will delay its vote on 2014-2016 classifications until April.
The move follows a Tuesday presentation made by Conway Athletics Director Chuck Jordan and others that proposed an overhaul of the state’s system. In Jordan’s plan, the current four-classification system would be cut down to three, and each class would then split for a total of six state champions for every sport.
“I’m pleased with where we are at this time,” Jordan said. “We’ll see where we’re at when things go forward. I think it would be good for the state, but the whole body’s got to decide on that.”
Jordan and the rest of the group proposing the newest changes – including Green Sea Floyds’ Doug Hinson and Carolina Forest’s Boe Rainbow, locally – will now take their addendum to the annual principals and athletics director’s retreat in March.
The hope is that, if accepted by a large-enough base, it could eventually overtake the current system or a recent proposal that addresses only football. A December proposal for that sport has SCHSL’s executive committee examining a five-classification system that would not affect other sports.
Following the athletics directors and principals retreat, the executive committee will meet again in April to make its decision. By that point, the official average daily membership (ADM), essentially a school’s attendance figures, will have more concrete numbers the SCHSL can use for proposed reorganization.
“The tough part of this is that schools basically want to see how it affects them,” Jordan said. “We can’t answer that right now because we don’t have the official ADM. The bubble schools right now, we have to wait to see if they they’re up or down.”
Overtaking what appeared to be a very popular football-only proposal might not be easy. For starters, the SCHSL has already spent considerable time researching that idea.
SCHSL Commissioner Jerome Singleton emailed out a proposed realignment plan for the football-only changes in mid-December. It included a tentative realignment plan, and several coaches from around the state fell in love with the idea.
However, as Hinson pointed out Monday, the football-only proposal leaves the other 16 sanctioned sports searching for answers.
In order for this to go through, those pushing the newest proposal are going to have to find a way to adjust the current constitutions, region lineups, points systems for playoffs and the actually playoffs themselves.
There’s also the mental block. The SCHSL generally prefers easing reform in gradually.
“The drawback to the whole thing is it is change,” Hinson said. “People don’t know what they’re getting. To a lot of people, that’s not a good thing.”
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