District IX  
Ed note: this article was downloaded from another site, either D6 or D7, and I don't
remember which...  not trying to avoid giving accreditation. 

From: "Brad M Koontz" Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 05:57:50 PDT The following was sent from Brad Koontz..   Private School Advantage   By Sam Shuss Bedford Gazette Sports Editor   I try not to be biased in my sports reporting, but it is very hard for me to do that when it comes to one subject: private schools in the PIAA. First of all, I have nothing against private schools competing in the PIAA. I think that they have some of the best teams in the state, particularly in basketball, and the competition has been great. However, they compete at an unfair advantage over the public schools in several different ways. If they choose to, they can limit the number of students that enroll at the school, while a public school cannot. This enables the school to stay at low numbers to qualify for the lowest possible classification in the PIAA. If a student is a troublemaker, a private school can get rid of him. A public school can suspend that student, but while the student can't compete, he or she counts against the enrollment.   A private school can recruit and it does. A public school can not recruit in any way, shape or form (although I have heard that it is done on a regular basis in some schools in the eastern part of the state). The schools around this area know that it happens. When the Northern Bedford basketball team was losing to Kennedy Christian in the state playoffs last year, many of the KG fans were chanting "Overrated!" to the Panthers and in particular, A.J. Nastasi. The Panther fans, knowing the game was out of hand, returned the chant "We don't recruit." A look at the state basketball playoffs shows the dominance of the private schools, particularly at the smaller classifications. Over the past 25 years, 38 percent of the boys A teams and 40 percent of the girls A teams in the state finals were private schools, while the private schools make up only 31 percent of the boys schools and 30 percent of girls schools. There is more of a disparity in the AA. On the boys side, 30 percent of the teams in the state finals were private, but private schools make up only 13 percent of the schools. With the girls' AA, 40 percent of the state finalists were private, yet private schools make up only nine percent of the schools. This shows that there is some advantage that the smaller, private schools have over the public schools. My suggestion to eliminate this inequality would be to make the private schools compete at a classification one higher than what they qualify for. It may not solve all of the problems, but at least its an attempt to equal out the apparent disparity. Think about that if you see Bishop McCort, who is an A football team this fall and who several years ago promised the Laurel Highlands that they would be an AAA team, play Everett, Tussey Mountain, Claysburg or Northern Bedford in the District 5-6 playoffs this fall.

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