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TN solves public-private HS disparity

July 17 2012 at 1:59 PM
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NASHVILLE -- The TSSAA Board of Control made a very quick and unanimous decision Monday on an issue that won't go away any time soon.

The board voted 9-0 to keep the enrollment mulitplier at 1.8 for private schools that choose not to give need-based financial aid to athletes, allowing those schools to continue playing in Division I. But the issue of what to do with those private schools in the future isn't as easily determined.

When the TSSAA implemented the public-private split in 1997, it affected only a handful of the larger private schools in the state. However, after most of the public schools raised an outcry that even the smaller, mostly faith-based private schools had an unfair advantage, despite the fact they were not allowed to give financial aid to athletes, the TSSAA implemented the enrollment multiplier that moved most private schools up a classification to compete against larger schools.

There are 336 football-playing high schools in Tennessee, 303 of which play in Division I. But while the state's current 1.8 multiplier is the highest rate in the nation, board members made it clear that the public schools -- which make up the great majority of each board member's represented area -- were not in favor of lowering the number.

"I think most of the smaller private schools in our area, like Silverdale Baptist and Chattanooga Christian, are doing things by the rule and you feel for them when they have to play up in classification," said Sequatchie County principal Tommy Layne, who represents the Chattanooga area on the Board of Control. "But I represent a lot of schools and I vote how the majority tells me to vote.

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  1. It only increases the disparity. - Anonymous on Jul 17, 2012, 3:41 PM
    1. Re: It only increases the disparity. - Anonymous on Jul 17, 2012, 4:32 PM
      1. Re: It only increases the disparity. - Anonymous on Jul 18, 2012, 6:55 AM
  2. Typical government school nonsense. - Anonymous on Jul 17, 2012, 8:38 PM
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