UIL inching ever closer to all-inclusiveness

Last week, the University Interscholastic League’s legislative council standing committee on athletics, passed the proposal to expand the playoff field for all Class 3A and Class 2A team sports.

Apparantly, there weren’t enough 1-9 teams in the football playoff bracket to suit them, so they upped the medioracrity level.

In an age where everybody makes all-district and the urgency to win league games has been snuffed out, it just got worse.

Part of the problem is that a large number of Class 3A districts (10 of 32) have just five teams.

Thirty-two more teams— fourth place teams—will earn a playoff spot. Eighty teams that were 5-5 or worse made the playoffs last season.

It’s time to drop the facade and just let everyone in. Everbody play your mirror image in the next district and let’s move on.

Rockdale ISD Superintendent Dr. Howell Wright voted in favor of increasing the number of teams.

“The minimum and maximum enrollment gap in 3A has become so large that on the average it presents unfair advantages in a contact sport in favor of the larger populated schools.”

His reasoning has a valid point and I agree with it, but the discrepency in enrollment can be taken care of during the bi-annual relaignment without adding another playoff team.

Rockdale is a textbook example of the discrepency in size of schools.

The Tigers are stuffed in a new district with rival Taylor (enrollment 882) and Navasota (749) which are close to double Rockdale’s declining 474 head count.

Taylor’s population is almost three times that of Rockdale’s.

In softball, the Lady Tigers have faced Splendora (915) and Huffman-Hargrave (924) in the playoffs.

However, Rockdale is probably destined for Class 2A at the next realignment so that may become a non-factor.

But, whenever the subject of expansion comes up, I will ask the same question I always ask, yet no one seems to want to answer.

If you are a small school and are sitting there at 1-9 or 2-8 in football and you are scheduled to play the No. 1 team in the state (or a far superior team) in the first round of the playoffs, what is the benefit of throwing your kids out there and having them getting their butts kicked 75-0.

What are you trying to teach them? If it’s humiliation, you’ve succeeded. I have witnessed this over-and-over again.

I cringed last season when Milano faced Burkeville in the first round of the playoffs.

Burkeville—who at 1-6—had no business being on the same field with Milano.

Burkeville, with their junior high sized team, had only 14 players on the roster and just one coach on the sideline.

Two of their players had to be carted off in ambulances and the dozen or so fans it had in the stands, hit the road at halftime with the score 41-0 in favor of Milano.

Give credit to Milano Coach Craig Jentsch who emptied his bench and was playing freshmen and agreed to have the clock run non-stop the entire second half.

The final score was 56-0, but the Eagles could have easily scored 100.

The superintendents did take steps to remedy the enrollment gap by voting to create a Class 6A, which has been rumored for what seems like decades.

This would bump up schools with 3,000 or more students into the new classification and more fairly spread out schools in the lower tiers with othere schools of like attendance.

If all this is approved, it will take effect in 2013.

We have 12 state champions in football, which means at the end of the year there are a dozen teams that can claim we’re No. 1 or is it 1B?

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2012-06-21 digital edition

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