News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron General

The Holden Arboretum


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Vote today could finally level public vs. private school sports
But Terry Pluto says 'competitive balance' isn't an easy, or necessarily preferred, solution

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
For the third spring in a row, the OHSAA is proposing a "competitive balance." If passed, a school's division placement would be based on the number of players that reside outside of the district.
Courtesy of Amanda Rabinowitz
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
For years, the Ohio High School Athletic Association has been trying to figure out how to level the playing field for high school sports. About 17 percent of the the association's 800-plus members are private schools, and they have won more than 40 percent of the state titles in recent years.

Public schools say private schools have an unfair advantage because they can draw talent from several communities. A vote ending today aims to strike a so-called competitive balance. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the proposal is complicated, and even if it passes, will only help the situation slightly. 

Listen: Terry Pluto commentary on OHSAA referendum

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:04)

UPDATE: May 16, 2013: 

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has once again voted against a plan to try to diminish the advantage private schools have in the state’s athletic playoffs. The so-called “competitive balance” proposal lost by 19 out of the nearly 640 votes cast by high school principals this week. That vote was a shade closer than earlier proposals that lost in 2011 and 2012.

An element of each proposal is some kind of formula that would account for the ability of private schools to draw athletes and other students from a broader area than most public high schools can. If schools draw too many students from outside their area, they would be forced to compete against bigger schools.


Original commentary:

The debate on the equality of sports divisions between Ohio’s public and private high schools continues as the vote on another referendum by the Ohio High School Athletic Association ends today.  

OHSAA’s newest referendum mandates creating divisions based on not only a school’s enrollment, but also on the number of students on a team’s roster from outside of the district.  WKSU’s sports commentator Terry Pluto says that’s a problem.

“Private schools are different than public schools,” Pluto says. “Private schools will always have more resources and things like that because they have alumni. They’re almost like mini colleges.”

With more “resources,” private schools are able to attract a range of students outside of their district, and Pluto says this is not necessarily true for public schools.

Inherently unequal
“You have an unlevel playing field, and [OHSAA is] trying to level it out,” Pluto says, “but it’s like you’re trying to level out two systems that are totally different.”

If the referendum passes, schools in smaller divisions have the ability to move into higher divisions, but they can only go so high.

“St. Ignatius and St. Edward are already in Division 1, so where are you going to push them up to?” Pluto asks. “I guess you could create a new super division of schools, but it never ends.”

Though uncertain of whether or not the referendum will pass, Pluto says Ohioans may be ready for a change in the playoff system.

Listen: Terry Pluto assesses whether the Indians can be contenders in 2013
Other options:
MP3 Download

Related Links & Resources
Pluto: OHSAA's competitive balance plan can make a bad situation a little better

Related WKSU Stories

Leveling the field between private and public school sports
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

Lawmakers call for indefinite freeze on Green Energy standards
It's a shame the Hudson Rep. Chooses to mimic the words of the extreme right senator on his way out to join ALEC when we know the Pope was just here because of...

Youngstown Schools file suit against the Ohio Department of Education to stop the implementation of an academic distress commission
Voters should ask WHY this plan was rushed into law under the cover of darkness. What clues point to the beneficiaries of this plan? Both Patrick O'Donnell of...

Great Lakes conference considers a range of threats
Your article states "Studies discovered over half of all PAHs found in the Great Lakes region come from a single source: Coal tar sealants.". I'm curious to whi...

ODOT awards Kent-based Davey Research Group nearly $50,000 to improve highway landscapes
This is an outrageous waste of taxpayer's money. Good for only Davey Tree and their cronies in the State government. It takes $50k to figure out the way to save...

Canton: another Northeast Ohio city is planning its comeback
Historic Ridgewood and the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority have no seats at the table. Very flawed right out of the gate. Ridgewood pays a huge percentage...

Property owners oppose a wind farm in Northern Ohio
Here is a link, exposing the connivance of the fossil fuel industry, in trying to prevent us from moving away from their outdated, filthy, and expensive forms o...

A new industry in Ohio aims to repurpose river sediment
and where do those PCB's end up??the story never says

A safe space: How Northeast Ohio colleges try to fight sexual assault
Very good and thorough job on a very sensitive topic!

Akron police shoot and kill a man following a North Hill robbery
Was on scene when they was trying to bring him back to life he looked dead there before he ever got into ambulance

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University