View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 11/18

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: November 19, 2014 - 8:56 AM



As the season winds down I have found there is a new round of debate over private and public schools competing in the same classification.

Here we go again. It seems to me every time this comes around, it is usually when a private school is dominant and teams are getting beat. In Missouri the debate brought about a multiplier for all private schools; that was about a decade ago. That multiplier was then added to charter schools just a few years ago.

It hasn’t really changed that many things. In terms of football Rockhurst, Valle Catholic and a few others have won titles in the last decade. It’s not any less than it was before and it seems to have had little change on the overall outcome.

It has hurt some smaller private schools and charter schools as they were forced to move up. While moving a team from Class 5 to Class 6 isn’t that big of a jump, a school that has a hard time finding 20-30 football players in Class 1 can really struggle in Class 2.

At first I was against the multiplier, but like most things, it seems to work out for both sides. The best private schools still succeed and the public schools seem to feel like things are more balanced than before.

Currently Kansas doesn’t have a multiplier, but there are rumblings from fans that one is needed. As the season reaches the semifinal round, there are four private schools still alive. Two are in class 5A and two in Class 4A. In each class the private schools look like the favorites to advance.

If the schools in Kansas see this as a problem and decide to add a multiplier, I don’t have a problem with it. At the same time, the schools people would most like it to affect probably won’t see much change in their fortunes. The good schools will continue to be good, no matter if they are in a bigger class or not.

The reality of the multiplier is it penalizes the small schools that are struggling to compete. Moving them up does nothing but harm programs that can’t find their own footing right now.

If putting a multiplier on a school or advocating a separate class for private schools makes you feel better, then continue to advocate for them. In a system that already hands out six 11-man state champs on both sides of the state line, adding a few more can’t be too bad.

I mean, once the players get out into the real world they will see that everyone competes based on classifications, so it is fair. Oh, wait, that isn’t how things work at all.