Prep Blogs

Defining Roles and Responsibilities

By: Todd Black


A lot of fans, coaches, principals, and parents get frustrated with the LHSAA. This is understandable when you only know one side of the story and feel as though you are the target of every LHSAA ruling. Unfortunately, people rarely give the LHSAA the benefit of the doubt in these circumstances. To start to understand the LHSAA begins with knowing how it works.

The Hierarchy starts with the Executive Committee (EC). The EC consist of 19 current principals; all the classes have 2 representatives, usually one from the north, the other from the south part of the state. To make sure every school has a voice, each school in the LHSAA is assigned to one of these 14 Executive Committee members. The other 5 consist of the past president, 3 At-Large and 1 Non-public representative.

The rest of the Executive Committee is a makeup of representatives from the State Board of Education, State School Board and State Superintendents Association, plus 2 coaches from the Coaches Association, 1 Athletic Director representing LHSADA, and 1 representative from the official’s association LHSOA.

 Next is the Membership.

Each school makes up the membership of the LHSAA. “In matters pertaining to athletics of a school, the principal is responsible to the Association.” With that said, often you will hear, ‘the LHSAA is a Principal’s Association.’  Article 2.4 of the LHSAA Constitution states, “The Association is virtually interested in the welfare of every boy and girl participating in its athletic contest.  It is for their protection of their interest that the Association operates.”

If you want to call yourself ‘a principal’s association,’ you should be held to the same standards of a principal. For instance, how can you boast about being a “Principal’s Association” and at the same time, you don’t know your Constitution? How can you consider yourself a “Proud Principal’s Association,” when you don’t take the time to open important LHSAA emails?  Most importantly, in the past, when you were told certain proposals were out of order and cannot be voted on, you simply did not care!  Here is an example.

The split proposal was deemed ‘out of order’ by two legal opinions. If principals were accountable for their actions, they would have acknowledged their mistakes and rectified the situation. Instead, members on the Executive Committee refuse to budge because they felt as though ‘we have done nothing wrong!’

After the membership is the Executive Director, followed by the LHSAA Staff.

The topic at hand is the split criteria and how it was used to differentiate between select and non-select schools. When comparing the 2013 and 2022 select school definitions, both include private schools, charter schools, magnet schools, laboratory schools. So why didn’t it happen that way?

 This was one of the reasons the LHSAA needed to re-designate schools. If you are going to do something, do it the right way and follow the protocol of the association.

The other reason re-designation was necessary is as follows:

  • 2022 boys’ basketball, in 10 championship games (excluding B & C) the margin of victory was the largest ever, at 23.4 ppg.
  • In GBB, the margin of victory is worse in every class and every division, 100% worse.
  • In football, Class 1A, ONLY two teams with a winning record were seeded above 12 (2015, 2018).
  • In 2A football, only 12 teams out of 144 with records above 500, have been seeded 17-32: that’s 8.3%.

When the margin of victory expands like it has in ALL split sports, you lose competitiveness and sportsmanship. The integrity of an association can be damaged; that’s why sometimes it’s best for people to stay in their own lane. Principals don’t care about the association, they care about their school. Then again, it’s not the principal’s job to care, that is why it was so important the LHSAA Executive Committee and Director stepped in. The other positive for the LHSAA’s intervention is the LHSAA must make decisions based on the whole association. In recent emails and comments in the paper, it is obvious principal’s do not have that vision.

New definition as of 6/3/2022 (sent to membership early 4/2022):

The new definition of select school now reads “private or public school that have a state or parish approved designation as a lab schools, magnet school with one or more magnet components, approved charter schools, parish wide approved, state recovery-district (RSD) application-based parish schools, tuition-based schools and/or any established academic and/or retention-based criterion schools.

Some of the membership claim to ‘never know what was going on; this blindsided us.’

On March 28, 2022, the LHSAA met with the Louisiana Association of School Superintendent’s (consist of 15 superintendents from around the state).

On April 8, 2022, the LHSAA notified the membership this meeting had taken place.  In the memo, the principals were notified:

  • The “new definition” would be voted on in the Summer Executive Committee meeting.
  • Notified the membership of the options of the new definition.
  • Membership was notified the Legal Team and Parliamentarian agreed the membership did NOT need to approve changes to glossary terms.
  • Noted 4.4.4 was being used to promote spirit of good play and sportsmanship.

In an email sent out earlier this month, Anacoco Principal, Raymond Haymond, ‘understands the reason for making athletics more competitive.’ Yet he, nor anyone in his parish has voted to either come back together or author a proposal to make things ‘more competitive.’

Below are 22 parishes, at the time, only 2 select schools were housed inside these parishes.

Over four votes, 2013, 2016 winter, 2016 summer and 2020, these 22 parishes voted 291-11 to stay split. In total, there are 142 schools that have NEVER voted to reunite. These schools account for 30% of the enrollment and 36% of the votes.


Another Principal making a lot of noise, and always has, is Northwood Shreveport Principal, Shannon Wall.  In 2020, Wall went to the mic and made the comment “it doesn’t fix the competitive balance issue.” The ‘split’ definition has always called for all magnet schools to be defined as ‘select.’ Today and for the last few years, if you go to the website, Northwood-Shreveport is listed under “2021 Select Admissions” as Magnet. Not only is Northwood a magnet school, odds are high Wall’s school also receives students outside his zone via federal mandate, Majority to Minority.

In 2020, Wall told the Executive Committee, ‘Trying to get everyone back together is like beating a dead horse. Spend more time of refining the playoffs we have.’ And we here are, via Mr. Wall’s recommendation.

The year after the split, 2014, principals voted passed a proposal to make the civil parish boundary lines for every parish the athletic attendance zone. All 64 parishes, as far as athletics is concerned was ‘open enrollment.’ However, the final say-so came down to each school boards Local Education Agency. The result was like the Baton Rouge area. EBR school board permitted the rule, whereas Livingston and Ascension school boards denied the rule. This caused a scenario, due to attendance zones being different sizes, that was not ‘apples to apples,’ it was not a level playing field, and ‘things weren’t fair and equitable.’

The membership changed the rule back to using the traditional home attendance zones for the same reason the LHSAA just moved open enrollment parishes to select

The following scenario was voted on during the Summer Executive Committee meeting of 2013.

 The Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Executive Committee decided to change the format of the association’s football playoffs. In January, the LHSAA decided to split so-called select and non-select schools into different divisions for football state championships.

 Under Proposition 18, select schools (which include private, magnet, and some charter schools) would have competed under new divisions, separate from non-select schools’ (which are traditional public schools) traditional classifications of 1A through 5A.

 Today, the LHSAA Executive Committee voted in favor of a motion that would further divide select schools into four divisions. Meaning Louisiana will now have nine state championship games, instead of the traditional five. The rule changes did not affect the regular season and goes into effect in the 2013 season. The LHSAA hopes to continue to play all state championships in the Superdome.

What is the difference between what the Executive Committee did in 2013, compared to 2022. If you want to be honest, the 2013 move changed an entire proposal; the 2022 move clarified a definition.

Where was the cry of ‘this is a principals association’ in 2013?  Why didn’t we send petitions around the state asking for a special meeting?  The membership voted for 2 divisions not 4! You only claim to be a ‘principal’s association’ when it’s convenient and if that’s what you want, maybe it’s time for you to join another Association.



“A Principal Who Wants Equality via the LHSAA Constitution!”

By: Todd Black

“Since 2013, this principal and others in his parish, have voted 34-0 to remain split!”

The principal from Anacoco, Raymond Haymond, has gone into the depths of the Constitution, to pull out 7.1.2. You CANNOT be serious?

In 2013, the LHSAA asked for a outside legal opinion on Proposal 18 which is the split proposal. When the results were received by former Executive Director Kenny Henderson, he said the legal opinion the LHSAA received about those constitutional issues were inconclusive. Henderson went on to say he would only share with the executive committee and, “It depends on how you want to interpret it.” But I promise you this, if the legal opinion favored the split, Henderson would have announced the findings to the whole world.

If the outside firm did not do its job, the LHSAA should have a $10,000 credit from the outside law firm, correct? In 2016, Jane Griffin pointed out, in 2013, a legal opinion was paid for by the LHSAA and received; this legal opinion validated her playoff plan as constitutional based on “other” points in the constitution.

What is this? An eye for eye constitutional agreement? ALL the proposal must be validated. The fact the proposal is invalid was brought up again in 2016. Not only did the outside firm deem the 2013 proposal invalid, so did the current LHSAA legal team, lead by Mark Boyer. Boyer told the Executive Committee that his findings and the 2013 findings were similar. Ironically, also in 2013, U-High had a legal team come up with the same findings. U-High’s legal team also contacted the LHSAA and received no response.

The opinion of the 2016 Executive Committee was they “felt” as though they did nothing wrong. They ignored the Constitution; so, Mr. Haymond, why should they follow the constitution today if it was not followed in 2013? Now you all the sudden care? Mr. Haymond, you understand if the Executive Committee follows the Constitution in 2013, chances are better than good, you, your school, and your peers’ schools would not be in this predicament.  That is why it is imperative to always do the right thing. If you get 50%, I hope you get what you want.

Mr. Haymond, your parish is home to zero private schools, correct? Your parish has (4 Class C) schools and (2 Class B). Isn’t it true that in Class C & B, GBB, a private school has never won a championship? The only time a private school as won in softball was in Class C in 2009 & 2010. In baseball, in 2008, was the one and only baseball championship in Class B. Class C baseball has only recently had success vs the public schools.

Why did you vote for the split? In no way did private schools hinder public

Mr. Haymond, no way is it possible you are speaking about equality. Equality is Class 5A have a 32-team bracket while their private school counterparts have 12; Equality is public schools in Class B and Class C playing in separate brackets while their counterparts play in one bracket of 5 teams. Equality is forcing private schools in Class 3A, and Class C play UP in class when the constitution clearly states that is a choice.  Sir, you have no clue.

Read the memo’s sent out or ask your LHSAA Executive Committee Representative and they could give you all the answers you need for your issues.

A Principals led organization whom Superintendent’s were informed in March of 2022 about the change. Good point about the “principal’s led organization.” Is it your belief that no principals were involved in this decision-making process? There is a person on the Executive Committee that represents you, remember the person you vote on every 2 years? I recommend while you’re catching up on the constitution, you can read the responsibilities of the Executive Committee.

Mr. Haymond, you claim you know the purpose of making athletics more competitive but every time a new proposal to make the split more competitive was brought to the floor for a vote, your parish (over 4 votes), have voted 34-0 to stay split. Your parish to the north, Sabine, of you that has 4 Class B, 2 Class C and 1 2A school has voted 28-0 to stay split and the parish south of you, Beauregard has voted 12-0 to stay split. Mr. Haymond, you don’t care about equality unless you are on the side of inequality.