Q for the Board: Could this be the time for Private Schools to secede?

EdgyTim

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May 29, 2001
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Stay with me on this.....

So IHSA is in a real mess obviously....and I don't see the return of any major prep sports anytime soon. We have a site that covers North Carolina Preps and I'm planning a podcast for early next week to discuss the situation in NC as well as here etc.

Yet in North Carolina as I discovered today....the public schools are sitting out until the spring yet the private schools are playing football as we speak this fall.

So with many private/Catholic schools here in Illinois already back to classes either fully in school or making plans to be back fully....and that aspect being used as a selling point/positive to attract more students could also the return of playing sports be another big positive for the private schools? Again I/we need to learn more about the set-up in North Carolina and how things are done but I know that we have plenty of schools of all shapes and sizes here in Illinois and power league like the CCL/ESCC that is more than capable of putting together a plan? Maybe a backup plan if IHSA doesn't go in the spring?

Again it's all me strictly thinking out loud...but could this end up being something that in this current situation become more realistic? Could the privates do this for a year then come back to IHSA? Or go it alone while still being members of the IHSA? Lots of questions obviously but would love your thoughts on this.
 
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sporthog9er

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Wow interesting take. I could see this happening if it doesn't appear IHSA football happens in spring...like you said a back up plan. I'd be all for it because it would be what is best for the kids. Could they do it and then come back to IHSA....ehh would love to get more details on that. I was never in favor of this before but now in this circumstance, I'm all in. If you can do it, and the administration/parents/athletes are on board then go for it. And...if done successfully without issues, it could put more pressure on everyone else to play come fall 2021.
 
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King MJ

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Jul 22, 2001
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Logic makes sense Edgy, except...

problem is I don't see IHSA allowing schools to leave for one sports and come back for the rest. It would likely be an all or nothing proposition.

Challenge is that lots of smaller sports simply don't have the number of teams (at least at a certain quality level) to make this feasible. How would lacrosse or golf or badminton or even swimming be able to compete?
 

mates1

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Jun 29, 2015
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The IHSA disallowing football to be played by the private schools in the spring might have a better chance for a successful lawsuit? I wonder, however, about how many privates still play at public stadiums of the Chicago Park District? Extremely interesting story to follow!
 

PanthersWildcats86

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Oct 12, 2017
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Does that potentially work in the Chicago area? Yes.

Does that work downstate? Probably not, unless they want to travel.

Anybody south of Kankakee McNamara would have a heck of a drive...what, now Decatur St. Teresa would be the closest private school down I-57 from Mac that plays 11 man football (Danville Schlarman & Champaign St. Thomas More gone to 8 man). Normal U-High & Bloomington Central Catholic to the southwest of Kankakee? JCA to Ottawa Marquette on I-80?

What is the reality today? Manteno School District sent an email this week. 1800+ students in the district, 340+ teachers & staff, 1 active case in the whole district. But because Kankakee & Will counties are in the same region, the Governor's freedom axe remains hanging dangerously over the community...
 

Bowie50

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Aug 3, 2013
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Stay with me on this.....

So IHSA is in a real mess obviously....and I don't see the return of any major prep sports anytime soon. We have a site that covers North Carolina Preps and I'm planning a podcast for early next week to discuss the situation in NC as well as here etc.

Yet in North Carolina as I discovered today....the public schools are sitting out until the spring yet the private schools are playing football as we speak this fall.

So with many private/Catholic schools here in Illinois already back to classes either fully in school or making plans to be back fully....and that aspect being used as a selling point/positive to attract more students could also the return of playing sports be another big positive for the private schools? Again I/we need to learn more about the set-up in North Carolina and how things are done but I know that we have plenty of schools of all shapes and sizes here in Illinois and power league like the CCL/ESCC that is more than capable of putting together a plan? Maybe a backup plan if IHSA doesn't go in the spring?

Again it's all me strictly thinking out loud...but could this end up being something that in this current situation become more realistic? Could the privates do this for a year then come back to IHSA? Or go it alone while still being members of the IHSA? Lots of questions obviously but would love your thoughts on this.
I really like the questions you’re asking and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
 

mc140

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I am starting to think you may have some public school conferences in non JB friendly areas that may push ahead and try to play.
 

corey90

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Aug 27, 2005
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Hilliard Ohio
I am starting to think you may have some public school conferences in non JB friendly areas that may push ahead and try to play.
I would imagine that some pretty big fines would be imposed if such action happens public or private. I don’t believe JB is going to allow any schools to play. It will be all or nothing. IMO
I don’t think it’s an IHSA decision.
 

mates1

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Jun 29, 2015
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I would imagine that some pretty big fines would be imposed if such action happens public or private. I don’t believe JB is going to allow any schools to play. It will be all or nothing. IMO
I don’t think it’s an IHSA decision.
I wonder how active a role the IHSA-type counterparts have taken in other states that have allowed play. As limited as the IHSA power may be, this looks like rather impotent advocacy on behalf of the players and their families. In fact, I am shocked all other adult groups like parents, ADs, principals, school boards, coaches and the like do not register meaningful objections. The fact that these segments are so absent is indicative of something being wrong with this concentration of power with one person.
 

JCHillmen

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Nov 30, 2001
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I believe it would be difficult to get any statewide organization by February. But perhaps the CCL/ESCC could play games if the rest of the state refused. That could be a nice transition to bringing the other suburban and downstate privates into the fold in the future.

I’ve been thinking more about this recently as I don’t think it’s entirely unrealistic to happen in the next 5 years anymore.

There are just over 50 private schools playing 11 man football. There are some geographic outliers way downstate and out west, but they could still be included with some creativity and flexibility in scheduling or division formation.

As for the postseason, I am liking the idea of three classes. Originally I had thought three classes divided evenly by enrollment with 16-17 teams per class.

But now I like the idea of an open class and then a large school class and small school class. An independent ranking body (edgy, soucie, max preps, etc) can choose the 8 or 12 best private schools for the open class. Or perhaps you allow schools to “opt in” to that class before the season or playoffs, as I am sure the demand wouldn’t be too great. The remaining 40ish schools are just broken into a big class and small class for their own state championship.
 

Bwm57

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I think there is a better chance than there ever has been.
 

IgorStL

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To me, it all depends on CPS. JB has absolutely been CTU's lapdog. I'm 100% convinced that CTU is the reason JB isn't allowing "high risk" sports. The optics would look awful he JB allows football, while CTU claims it is still too "dangerous" for in-person learning. If CPS plows forward with in-person soon, over the objections of CTU, then we have a legit shot at football this spring. Notice how I didn't even bring up IHSA? JB as assumed so much power in the last few months, that IHSA shouldn't even enter the conversation. JB and Ezike will have the only vote that counts.
 

Topiary

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Jul 9, 2001
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No in fact private schools are losing kids - look at Perry from MC and others who have transferred out. I say they should look at bolting the ISHA - they already said a big FU to Pritzker and there's no way an IHSA block for other sports would ever win - there would be way too many people who would disregard the results of public only school wrestling, baseball, etc. I think they should do 5 game schedule starting early Nov then 2 CCL playoff games up to 12/20. They could get 40 teams with Thomas More, Rockford Lutheran, BMac and St Bede
 

McCaravan

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Feb 1, 2016
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No in fact private schools are losing kids - look at Perry from MC and others who have transferred out. I say they should look at bolting the ISHA - they already said a big FU to Pritzker and there's no way an IHSA block for other sports would ever win - there would be way too many people who would disregard the results of public only school wrestling, baseball, etc. I think they should do 5 game schedule starting early Nov then 2 CCL playoff games up to 12/20. They could get 40 teams with Thomas More, Rockford Lutheran, BMac and St Bede
MC did lose Ben because of his decision to enroll at Louisville early (he would have stayed if we had a fall season) but MC on a whole gained more students then they lost this year. I think going full time in school helped with the increase of transfers. They didn’t have a huge amount of in coming transfers but it was a noticeable difference. They didn’t have a lot transfer out and I think the final 10 weeks being on remote learning, that was put together as they went along, helped as there was less end of the year discipline and academic problems.
I know Catholic Grade schools in the South Side area all saw an increase in enrollment from CPS grade schools since they are back in person and CPS is not. I’m sure once CPS goes back some will transfer back, but I know the CTU soured a lot of families.
 

PowerI66

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I've always been curious about that...did these new enrollees have to test in like the Freshmen class did? Or starting Soph year you can just get in if there are seats?
 

DeanOfSelection

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MC did lose Ben because of his decision to enroll at Louisville early (he would have stayed if we had a fall season) but MC on a whole gained more students then they lost this year. I think going full time in school helped with the increase of transfers. They didn’t have a huge amount of in coming transfers but it was a noticeable difference. They didn’t have a lot transfer out and I think the final 10 weeks being on remote learning, that was put together as they went along, helped as there was less end of the year discipline and academic problems.
I know Catholic Grade schools in the South Side area all saw an increase in enrollment from CPS grade schools since they are back in person and CPS is not. I’m sure once CPS goes back some will transfer back, but I know the CTU soured a lot of families.
Was watching the ND-Lville game last Sat and saw the Lville SS was a senior. Who knows maybe Perry can play as a true frosh there. Even more reason to go there for Spring when Illinois is not playing.
 

mc140

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I've always been curious about that...did these new enrollees have to test in like the Freshmen class did? Or starting Soph year you can just get in if there are seats?
They do not test them.
 

Quags57

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Aug 15, 2006
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Logic makes sense Edgy, except...

problem is I don't see IHSA allowing schools to leave for one sports and come back for the rest. It would likely be an all or nothing proposition.

Challenge is that lots of smaller sports simply don't have the number of teams (at least at a certain quality level) to make this feasible. How would lacrosse or golf or badminton or even swimming be able to compete?
I believe you are correct in your assessment that it would have to be all or nothing for the Private schools.

The smaller sports would be just fine. The private schools are plenty competitive in the smaller sports. Most schools in the Chicago area have teams in those sports to have have competitions so getting games in is not an issue. Many private school are in fact, some of the top programs in the state in those sports.

And no private school plays badminton (at least none did in the last year it was held in 2019).
 

colbert

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Oct 24, 2001
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Catholic school enrollment peaked in early 1960s at 5.2 million. In 2019-20 school year, it was 1.7 mil. Certainly other private non-denominational schools have seen an increase in same time.
 

ramblinman

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Jul 18, 2001
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If they leave, then they should leave for good. Makes no sense to leave, invest the financial resources to build an organizational infrastructure to support interscholastic athletics, and then dismantle that infrastructure once IHSA sports return to normal.

Give me the NIPL!
 

godfthr53

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Sep 8, 2008
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If they leave, then they should leave for good. Makes no sense to leave, invest the financial resources to build an organizational infrastructure to support interscholastic athletics, and then dismantle that infrastructure once IHSA sports return to normal.

Give me the NIPL!
Why would they need to build an organization for a 1 year thing.
 

PanthersWildcats86

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Oct 12, 2017
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Logic makes sense Edgy, except...

problem is I don't see IHSA allowing schools to leave for one sports and come back for the rest. It would likely be an all or nothing proposition.

Challenge is that lots of smaller sports simply don't have the number of teams (at least at a certain quality level) to make this feasible. How would lacrosse or golf or badminton or even swimming be able to compete?
Problem is, the IHSA does allow schools to leave for one sport and keep the rest of the sports in the IHSA. Prime example? 8 man football. IHSA doesn't have 8 man football, so the small schools that have adapted to the new / alternative format have their own 8 man football association.

Lacrosse...Hockey...yes, sports can exist outside the IHSA structure. But a whole chunk of schools taking one major sport, leaving just for that sport, and co-existing? That's the new situation. What if some schools on the edge of the state decided to try to join the Wisconsin / Indiana / Iowa / Missouri / Kentucky state organizations? You don't have to be a member of the IHSA. The small private school state association plugs along every year forever it seems - but I don't see many schools moving from the IHSA to that division (Kankakee Grace Christian left the private school association for the IHSA this fall because of the much greater opportunities in the IHSA).

I've seen some youth league travel teams that have committed to tournaments in Florida, Oklahoma, etc. which are putting their Illinois football teams together and practicing in Indiana to get around the Governor. I suppose private high school teams could do the same thing...Not a good long term solution...
 

sporthog9er

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Jun 9, 2001
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Ad much as I am a big multi sport proponent, I would love for some IL schools to pull the trigger and create something this spring IF the rug is pulled and IHSA cancels football. Just to give kids a chance to play, even if it takes away from other sports. Let them decide then. But man would that be sweet...find a way to do right by the kids and also stick it to the idiotic bureaucracy shutting it down.
 

JCHillmen

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Nov 30, 2001
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Could today’s news be the impetus for private schools to lead the way? I think we all assume some downstate districts, many (most?) suburban districts, and possibly all of CPS will follow “guidance” for liability fears, that could leave just a fraction of Chicago area public schools actually taking the IHSA up on the opportunity to play.

enter private schools. They see an opportunity for their kids to play and, even more important from a survival standpoint, an opportunity to differentiate themselves from most neighboring public schools, which could lead to at least some enrollment boost.

a perfect storm has the ihsa not conducting a state series, thus allowing the CCL, ESCC, and a few of the smaller private leagues the chance to have a short end of season tournament.

inaugural NIPL state championship event?