KSHSAA debates private-public classifications

TOPEKA — Board of directors members who spoke at Friday's meeting at the Kansas State High School Activities Association seemed to agree that something needs to be done to alter the playing field between private and public schools, but pointed out the two proposals before them weren't the answer.

No decisions were made on the proposals that would have either split Kansas private schools into a separate postseason division or move those schools up into the next-largest classification. They won't be addressed in the continuation of today's meeting.

City League athletic director Bill Faflick said after the meeting that even though members knew an immediate answer would not be found, there was still plenty of emotion surrounding the topic.

"There was a lot of passion that something needs to happen," Faflick said. "It was also coupled with the frustration of not knowing what to do. There are no easy answers, because if they were they would have been decided years ago."

Representatives from Kapaun Mount Carmel and Bishop Carroll were present to address members of the board, each defending the perceptions that private schools have advantages over public schools.

Donald Clark, a representative from DeSoto High, asked Carroll athletic director Larry Dostert and Kapaun president Mike Burrus to provide the board with alternative solutions.

"I would challenge the non-public institutions to bring back to this board a proposal," Clark said. "One that takes the form of your institutions taking a leadership role in bringing a positive change, a positive alternative to some of the proposals we've come up with."

KSHSAA executive director Gary Musselman said that he viewed the meeting as a key step in the process of finding a solution.

"This is important. All of these boys and girls matter," Musselman said. "Whatever kind of school that they go to, they are the most important reason that we're here. So we needed to meet and consider the consequences and unintended consequences of whether we leave what's in place alone or make a change. It's really important."

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