New IHSA rule could 'reshuffle' football powers

New IHSA rule could 'reshuffle' football powers
February 24, 2014, 2:30 pm
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The IHSA made an important addition to the non-boundary schools rules this week: the Success Advancement Component.

In short, the Success Advancement Component, which takes effect in the 2014-15 school year, has been added for all IHSA sports — including football — and applies to private and non-boundary schools that play in multiple state title games over a four-year period. It reads as follows:

"In football over four years schools will be affected who have:

1. Participated in two state championship games.
2. Starting with the 2015 season, schools would be moved up two classes from their enrollment classification if, over a four year period, the school participated in three championship games.
3. Starting with the 2016 season, schools would be moved up three classes from their enrollment classification if, over a four year period, the school participated in four championship games.
4. Schools that move up more than one class due to the implementation of the above criteria will move down one class per year until they reach their appropriate classification for their enrollment should they stop meeting the advancement criteria outlined above."

Some reaction to the rule:

"We will just show up and play whoever they tell us to play," said Montini Catholic head coach Chris Andriano. Montini Catholic won four straight Class 5A state titles from 2009 through 2012 and finished runner-up in 2013.

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The Rochester Rockets, who have won four straight Class 4A state titles under head coach Derek Leonard, wouldn't be affected by this new rule. However, Leonard does have an opinion on this latest change in the rules for non-boundary and private schools.

"It's terrible." Leonard said. "I thought this was going to be a few years away, so the timing surprised me. This tells the kids that the Catholic schools are better. I don't think like that, and I also don't want my kids to think like that either. We play plenty of Catholic schools on our schedule, and we've won our fair share of games."

Many other reactions seem to suggest the IHSA is adding a Success Advancement Component to punish a handful of successful private schools.

One high school head coach who wished to remain nameless added, "If someone is doing something against the rules, then catch them and then let's move on. It seems that you have a handful of schools who are upset that they keep getting beat by the same schools and will do anything to change it. What those same schools that are complaining don't seem to realize is that all you're doing is reshuffling the deck. The smaller private schools can move up in class and still beat them."