Football playoff is a step closer
MIAA finds idea to be financially viable
FRANKLIN - The new proposal for a statewide high school football playoff system got a boost Thursday from an important group of people - those who look at the bottom line.
The MIAA Finance Committee said it could support the proposal, even though it appeared the organization’s revenues “could suffer, but to a relatively small degree,’’ according to MIAA executive director Dick Neal. “We think this is helpful to the process. It takes the financial concern off the table.’’
In 2009, a proposal didn’t get as favorable a review, with the Finance Committee recommending against it because of the fear that postseason revenue would be severely reduced. That, plus other aspects of the plan, led to its defeat at the MIAA Annual Meeting in 2010.
Thursday’s news is one less reason for schools to oppose the new plan this time around.
The seven-member Finance Committee came to its conclusion after looking at data compiled by MIAA staff members. Neal acknowledged that revenue was a hard thing to project, with matchups and weather being key variables.
A subcommittee of the Football Committee has been tweaking the proposal since the Tournament Management Committee met March 19 and asked questions about things such as divisional alignment, finances, scheduling committees, and power ratings. With finances not an issue, the Football Committee will meet again May 9, followed by the TMC meeting the following day.
If both the Football Committee and Tournament Management Committee vote yes on the proposal, the MIAA Board of Directors could vote it up or down at its next meeting June 7.
In other news, the board voted to form a subcommittee to meet with Gardner school officials regarding former girls’ swim coach Don Lemieux. Lemieux, who led Gardner to 16 state titles, stepped down after being told he couldn’t coach his team at the Division 1 state meet following allegations of practice violations. The MIAA had asked Gardner officials to update it on their investigation. That hasn’t happened, and the five-member subcommittee will ask why . . . At this year’s MIAA hockey tournament, board chairman Brian McCann said, the MIAA sold 11,000 tickets online, compared with 7,000 at the door . . . The effort to have separate public and private tournaments came to an end with the board voting, 9-1, in support of the TMC’s decision last month that separate tournaments were not beneficial to the member schools.
Bob Holmes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.