Starting this fall high school football teams in Louisiana will compete in separate playoff divisions: one for select admission schools – such as private and parochial schools – and another for non-select public schools.
High school principals from across the state passed the proposal Friday at the annual Louisiana High School Athletic Association conference in Baton Rouge.
Under the new rule, select admission and non-select public schools will still compete in regular season play, but playoff competition will be separate. Public schools will have five playoff classes, while select admission schools will have two, for a total of seven state football championships.
Church Point High School football coach and athletic director John Arceneaux said he favors the split because he feels private schools have an advantage when it comes to drawing in student athletes.
"I think it’s a step to moving the association in a different direction," said Arceneaux. "I think it’s just 20 or so years of there not being action taken against certain things that were going on that the public school principals finally had enough of and, you know, we’re going to split it and see what happens."
Arceneaux said the 206 to 119 vote primarily saw public schools voting for the proposal while private schools mostly voted against it.
A similar proposal, which called for separate playoff divisions for all other sports than football, failed to pass.