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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 5, 1998
Representative Council Supports
Football Playoff Expansion;
Contact: John Johnson or Mike Clifford 517.332.5046
Plans To Be Developed For Consideration At Fall Meeting
THOMPSONVILLE, Mich.-- The Representative
Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association went
on record today as favoring expansion of the organization's Football
Playoffs to include additional schools. The action was taken
during the Council's major legislative session of the year which
concluded here this morning.
In responding to a recent survey of member school superintendents
and principals in which 72 percent of 520 responses indicated
a desire to expand the 128-team football playoff field, the Council
directed the MHSAA staff to develop plans and rationale for expansion
for consideration at its next meeting, December 2, at Acme.
The Council rejected an expansion proposal which would have
qualified 516 schools for the playoffs, dubbed "Proposal
16." In its discussion of football playoff expansion, it
also considered statistics from the survey which indicated that
feelings were split as to how to expand the tournament. Only
40 percent of the superintendents and principals surveyed favored
starting the regular season a week earlier; and only 50.5 percent
favored using the ninth week of the season as a playoff game.
Previous playoff expansions have been accomplished without changing
the regular-season calendar.
"We expect to involve a lot of people as playoff plans
are developed for the Council's consideration," said John
E. "Jack" Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA.
"We may conduct some additional surveys, and provide all
levels of the membership continuing input."
In additional action, the Representative Council delayed by
one week the beginning of practice for Spring sports beginning
in 1999; and ordered surveys of the membership regarding potential
tournament schedule changes in girls soccer, and track and field.
The Representative Council is the 19-member legislative body
of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools.
Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation
of females and minorities; and the 19th position is occupied
by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary
membership by over 1,300 public and private senior high schools
and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common
rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government
funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such
association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament
entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these
rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments conducted
in 12 sports for boys and 12 sports for girls which attract approximately
1.3 million spectators each year.