To the Editor:
In a television interview during the Division 1 football championship game, Ohio High School Athletic Commissioner Daniel Ross stated that the association was considering adding a 7th division in football to promote fairness in competition.
If the association were truly concerned about fairness in competition it would have established separate tournaments and playoffs for public and non-public schools years ago. Private and parochial schools can recruit large areas and cherry pick the best athletes for their schools. Public schools cannot and the results are obvious.
Only 8.5% of Ohio students are enrolled in parochial schools, but they have been winning state championships in both boys and girls sports over 50% to 60% of the time for years. Recently it has gotten even worse.
In just completed fall championships in girls sports, 6 of 7 state championships or 86% were won by parochial schools (1 or 2 divisions in soccer, 1 of 1 in field hockey, and 4 of 4 in volleyball).
In boys sports, 8 of 9 state championships, or 89% were won by parochial schools (5 of 6 divisions in football and 3 of 3 in soccer).
Many other states provide fair sports competition by having separate tournaments for public and non-public athletes and have successfully done so for many years. The time has arrived for public school board members, athletic directors, coaches and local citizens and parents to let the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) know that their athletes deserve the opportunity for fair and equal athletic competition.
If the OHSAA continues to ignore its obligation to provide it, then the public schools should withdraw and form a new association of their own.
You may agree or disagree with this letter, but either way I would encourage you to contact the OHSAA at 614-267-2502 and give them your thoughts on this matter.