With Dave Anderson becoming the new Executive Director of the WIAA this year, so far it seems that it is still business as usual with the organization. The WIAA has a very controversial proposal to eliminate all football conferences and to go with districts for football in what they call making the sport more competitive.
In theory, the proposal may look good as it can guarantee a certain number of games in a year, but however I feel this proposal has skirted around a big issue that the WIAA has failed to address since they merged the WIAA and the WISAA over 13 years which is leveling out the playing field with public and private schools. Illinois uses an enrollment multiplier of 1.65 for all private schools to level out the playing field in all sports including football. However, under the proposal the district plan has a lot of holes that I think will water down the quality of the high school game and making our players less attractive for college recruiting at the regional and national levels.
First, under the plan some teams will have to travel longer distances to play games within a district especially for smaller schools up in Northern and Western Wisconsin. Second, teams like Green Bay Notre Dame and Wisconsin Lutheran who always dominate in the Division 3 playoffs every year get a free pass to dominate in the lower divisions in which make the sport uncompetitive. Third, I also do not like a playoffs for all proposal that could be in the plan. As a former member of the Appleton North football program, I felt that the playoffs should be that you earn your way in. The current playoff system could use a few changes, but the district proposal will water down the quality of the playoffs.
A big reason why Illinois is better in attracting high school talent than Wisconsin in the national level is first and foremost the IHSA levels out the playing field by having an enrollment multiplier for all private schools. This in essence gives everyone who follows the game better match-ups in the regular season and in the post season and it feeds down to coaches and players to play better opponents all season long.
This proposal is nothing but the latest example that the WIAA is less concerned with promoting amateur athletics in Wisconsin and more interested in paying back to their political allies in the coaches and athletic directors lobbies for policies that were created long ago. When I found out about this plan, this was a plan in the works for the last decade by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association and now with Dave Anderson in charge of the WIAA this proposal can be seen by the average person as nothing but politically motivated that only benefits Anderson and the WFCA themselves while diminishing the quality of the sport.
In the past ten years, there has been example after example that the WIAA is moving from a athletic organization to a de-facto political organization. If anyone is following the lawsuit involving the WIAA and Gannett Newspapers over how the media can cover athletic competitions, it should raise an eye that the WIAA needs to stop playing politics. For far too long, the WIAA has shoved down a very liberal agenda down the throats of student-athletes, fans, and the media. Now, it is important for those who love Friday Night football and care about preserving rivalries that may get killed under the plan to contact the WIAA and to tell the Administration to strike down this flawed proposal.