PIAA taking affirmative steps in Public-Private issue

Posted on June 19, 2018 in Newspaper.

By Matthew DeGeorge

It was about an hour into a meeting in the bowels of the K. Leroy Irvis Building before the ill-fitting title of the committee meeting was broached.

“I’ve yet to hear anyone advocate that,” said State Sen. Scott Martin, R-13 of Lancaster.

The title of Monday’s meeting of the Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee was a “Hearing on Public, Private Sports.” The subject that many public-school stakeholders want to discuss, separate championships for public and private schools, isn’t about to happen anytime soon.

But that fact doesn’t preclude progress on the issue of competitive imbalance, and the tone of optimism Monday indicates that it could be on the way sooner rather than later.

Public and private championships in a state of the size and sensibility of Pennsylvania are a non-starter. The mere terminology is prohibitively impenetrable: Monday’s meeting included Sean McAleer, executive director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, calling the distinction of boundary/non-boundary “a legal fiction,” while the testimony of PIAA executive director Dr. Robert Lombardi sought to cleave his body’s membership into “traditional schools” and “schools of choice.” It was a minor point in the proceedings, but rest assured that any attempt to put weight behind those terms would meet harsh rebuke.

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