Committee to study limiting number of football coaches

December 5, 2017 by Jose Garcia, AZPreps365

Arizona Interscholastic Association executive director David Hines said during Monday’s board meeting that he wants the AIA’s sports advisory committee to examine the possibility of limiting the number of coaches and postseason players on teams, specifically for football.

“It (coaches on teams) is getting out of hand,” Hines said. “I don’t think all of the districts know all of their (assistant) coaches.”

Programs tend to move up players from their lower programs to varsity during the playoffs.

“We can’t get all of the kids in the locker room,” Hines said. “Let’s be reasonable.”

Limiting the number of coaches on teams and the amount of players on the sidelines should also help level the playing field, Hines said.

Executive director report

During his report, Hines also reported that he received positive feedback about the off week for 4-6A football prior to the championship games.

That extra week helped heal some kids and allowed the football spotlight to be on just the 2 and 3A finals before the 4-6A championship games. Hines thanked the board members who travelled to Tucson for the 4-6A title games as well as the University of Arizona for hosting the games.

Herman House, the 6A representative on the executive board, thanked the Amphitheatre District’s administrators for helping organize the championship games at Arizona Stadium.

The Arizona Stadium setting seemed more intimate, said board member Dr. Camille Casteel, who also said that their was a time overlap issue between games. 

Mr. Hines said a school was duplicating AIA sideline championship passes, so schools will no longer receive their passes a week or two prior to the games. The AIA also will work with school leaders on keeping coaches from sharing their game day championship credentials.

During his monthly report, Hines also acknowledged some of the fall season’s championship highlights. About 2,300 fans packed Mesquite High during the 5 and 6A volleyball championship games.

He recognized the results reporting of staffs managing the cross country and swim championship events and the fan turnout during the football championship games at Campo Verde.

Hines also added that the AIA should have its 2018-19 event schedule set before the April meeting for athletic directors, and that the Phoenix Convention Center is hosting the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s annual conference from Dec. 8-12.

About 2,000 athletic administrators are expected to attend the annual convention. This is the first time that Arizona will host it.

A couple of weeks later, Scottsdale will host the annual winter meeting for the nation’s state associations high school sports executive directors.

Financial report

The Saturday championship gate receipt totals haven’t been recorded yet, but the fall postseason gate receipts are trending toward toping last year’s fall results by a few percentage points, said Denise Doser, the AIA’s director of finance.

Doser is expecting the digital ticketing gross for fall to exceed $10,000, as the AIA/Tik-A-Tap digital ticketing program continues to develop. Also, a school that was fined is now in good standing after paying in full its contest cancellation fine.

The money collected from the fine went directly to the school that was affected by the cancellation.

Membership comments

Mark Cisterna, the 5A Conference executive board representative, thanked the AIA’s football sports administrator, Ron Halbach, and his state championship crew for the work they did to create a great atmosphere for teams during Saturday’s football events at Arizona Stadium in Tucson. Cisterna is the athletic director at Notre Dame, which participated in the 5A Conference final.

Approved agenda items

The AIA executive board granted full membership to Scottsdale Cicero Preparatory Academy (2A), Litchfield Park Canyon View (4A) and Laveen Heritage Academy (2A).

The schools will start competing during the 2018-19 school year. The Gilbert North and Queen Creek Ironwood campuses of American Leadership Academy also were granted full membership but with a provision.

They will not be allowed to participate in the playoffs during its first two seasons as an AIA full member. The board did not state why the provision was added.

The following agenda items were also approved:

--Ten contests and or program cancellation requests.

--Five AIA lifetime passes.

--Two complimentary pass replacements.

--The requests from Casteel, Valley Union, Greenway and Central to exceed the permissible number of games to help fill schedules.

--Pusch Ridge Christian’s request to allow its girls basketball players to play eight quarters instead of six each night during the current season. PRCA, which is down to 18 players, asked for the exception to help fulfill its junior varsity and varsity game obligations.

--Northwest Christian’s appeal to move its cross country and track team from Division III to Division IV. A paperwork issue delayed Northwest Christian’s appeal.

--The 3A Conference meeting minutes from Aug. 10 and Nov. 16.

--The student eligibility appeal (paper review)/request for hardship eligibility (legal guardian) requests from Alhambra and two from Florence High School.

School violations

Below are the most recent school violations member schools self reported to the AIA.

Advisement for Camelback’s football program. After a football game, two players from opposing teams started a skirmish between some of the teams' players. The AIA is following up with the other school involved in the postgame skirmish.

Advisement for Catalina’s spiritline program. The cheer team withdrew from a spiritline qualifying event due to injuries and eligibility issues.

Advisement to Lee Williams High School. During the 2016-17 school year, a home schooled student living in the Kingman High School boundary played for Lee Williams.

Advisement for Queen Creek’s activities program. A drone was used during the first round of the football playoffs. The use of drones is prohibited during postseason events.

Warning to Mingus activities program. An athlete practiced twice before he was cleared by the athletic office.

Warning for Catalina’s football program. The team held a scrimmage, in pads and helmets, after its season ended.

Advisement for Flagstaff’s football program. The head football coach criticized game officials to a newspaper reporter. The coach violated the AIA’s code of ethics bylaw.

Advisement for North Canyon’s boys soccer program. The team went over the four 20 minute periods during a scrimmage.

Advisement for North Canyon’s activities program. North Canyon football coaches and officials were involved in a “heated exchange/conversation” after a game on Sept. 22.

Advisement for Blue Ridge spiritline. Blue Ridge withdrew from a qualifier after its coach was unable to travel with the team.

Advisement for Basha basketball program. A freshman coach opened the gym on Sunday Nov. 19 and allowed three players to shoot using a shooting machine. Teams can’t practice on Sundays.

Advisement for Verrado’s activities program for violating recruitment rule. A student transferred to the school during the 2016-17 season after attending the speed training camp of a former varsity assistant coach, who resigned in Oct. 

An advisement is a word of caution.

A warning places a school in jeopardy of being placed on probation if another violation of any rule or regulation is committed. A school will not be eligible for the Overall Excellence Award during the warning period.