In the latest episode of the Huddle, Bob Holmes and I discuss the upcoming playoff proposal that will be put to a vote in Massachusetts on Friday, Oct. 26. The Globe has reported extensively on the subject and we've also received a letter from Jim Pugh, Masconomet's football coach and president of the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association, that was sent out to all of the principals and athletic directors in the state regarding the proposal. Here is the letter in its entirety:
Dear Massachusetts High School Principals and Athletic Directors,
I am writing this letter to ask for your support in approving the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association’s “Playoff Proposal” which will be presented and voted on for approval at the upcoming MIAA meeting on October 26 at Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School.
The Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association is comprised of head coaches who represent the leagues throughout the state. Our association has given great consideration in bringing forward a comprehensive proposal which we feel meets the needs of the players, coaches, Principals, AD’s, leagues, communities, and our fans.
Our current proposal has been approved by the MIAA Football Committee, the Tournament Management Committee and was endorsed by the Sports Medicine Committee. The MIAA Finance Committee reported that they do not believe this proposal will have an adverse effect on the association.
Highlights and Advantages of the proposal
- There will be one true State Champion in each division which is consistent with a majority of the MIAA tournaments. (This year we will crown 19 champions in football)
- Leagues and Thanksgiving games will remain intact!
- Proposal will increase post-season opportunities for our student athletes.
- All championship games will be played at Gillette Stadium. Currently, only 6 of the 19 games are played at Gillette (4 Eastern Mass games, 1 Central game, 1 West game)
- It is safer tournament than current set up. Playoff teams no longer required to play 3 games in 10 days.
- It is educationally sound. This proposal eliminates Tuesday night playoff games. Some of those games were ending after 10:00 pm.
- It is less intrusive to winter sports. Last year 74 schools played after Thanksgiving. In this proposal, only 12 schools will play after Thanksgiving.
- Tradition. League champions will still be crowned. Only 3 of your 11 games will change.
- Two year pilot. After two years adjustments can and will be made.
We understand that this proposal is not perfect and that questions still remain on how this will play out. We also understand that change is not an easy process. However, we do feel this is the best proposal that has come forward in many years and that it is in the best interest of our student athletes. We feel it is much improved over than the current format and that it is consistent with the MIAA philosophy of educational athletics.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me regarding this proposal. Thanks for taking the time to consider this proposal and please remember to register on line your school’s voting delegate with the MIAA.
In addition, the Huddle has highlights from the week and a feature on Natick's Nick Lee. Check it out.
You can find the Huddle on the high schools blog and on Boston.com/schools every week. Thanks for watching.
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- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
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