Prep beat

MIKE NIETO: Does this have legs this time?

2014-06-26T17:00:00Z 2014-06-27T01:49:05Z MIKE NIETO: Does this have legs this time?Mike Nieto Prep Beat nwitimes.com
June 26, 2014 5:00 pm  • 

Will the kitchen sink be thrown in next?

There is scuttlebutt that some administrators of the West Suburban Conference want to have separate state tournaments for public and non-boundary (private) schools.

The committee will have to jump through all the hoops and barrels to get it it accepted as a proposal by the Illinois High School Association.

Marian Catholic athletic director Dave Mattio said this is nothing new.

"It just never got a lot of legs and never took off," Mattio said. "It is always talked about is the unfair advantage (of non-boundary schools) and leveling the field. We get a (1.65) multiplier and now they are talking about the success factor.

"We don't have an advantage. It costs over $10,000 (per year) to go here."

If a non-boundary school has success in the state series over a four-year period, it will be bumped up a class. You see it now as some schools are in one class in say track, in boys and a smaller class in girls or vice versa. This is because one has had success.

T.F. South athletic director Marc Brewe did not have enough information to form an opinion, but said "it does change the ballgame," if the state splits into private and public tournaments.

IHSA executive director Marty Hickman said he personally is against such a move. Mattio added if the IHSA splits, the costs of the state championships would double. If the private schools form their own association, who would pay for it?

"How would we run it? If we are part of the IHSA, would Marty Hickman oversee the public schools and someone else be in charge of the private schools," Mattio asked. "We could hold regionals and sectionals, but what about state finals?"

The IHSA at one time put in a multiplier, of sorts. In football in the 1990s, a school played in the class of the average enrollment of its opponents. If you were a school of 500, but played in a bigger conference, like Rock Island Alleman did in the Western Big Six, you got bumped up. A Class 3A school in football might be designated as Class 5A.

Downstate Rochester has won four straight football titles in Class 4A, but no one is asking it to move up to Class 5A. Mount Carmel has won state football titles in four classes, including Class 8A in 2012.

Former Richards football coach Gary Korhonen said his team's won 50 percent of their games that they played against Catholic schools. He won two state titles and finished second once.

"That would diminish what a state championship means," he said.

The other factor is money. When Mount Carmel, Providence, Loyola Academy, Joliet Catholic or Providence go to a state football final, those school bring thousands of fans, which means tens of thousands of dollars. Even in the early rounds of the playoffs, they bring a few thousand. Public schools would have to give up that gate.

It is a proposal worth looking at, but remember the possible long-term repercussions that could happen.

This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at mike.nieto@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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