COLUMBUS — Carroll High School was one of roughly 20 Ohio high schools that found themselves making a jump up in competition in several boys sports, but a recent court ruling could potentially change all that in the very near future.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) was informed Aug. 15 that the Court of Common Pleas in Hamilton County has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) that prohibits the OHSAA from continuing to utilize a component of the Competitive Balance process that OHSAA member schools voted into place in 2014.
The court’s restraining order was specific to the Tier 1 factor and specifically to St. Bernard Roger Bacon High School and the other members of its league – the Cincinnati Greater Catholic League’s coed division, of which Carroll is a member. However, OHSAA member schools voted to have the Competitive Balance process apply to all member schools, both public and non-public.
“We were advised (Wednesday) of the court’s TRO,” said OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass. “Although the court’s ruling was specific to one conference, the OHSAA is an organization that emphasizes treating all of our member schools fairly and consistently, so we will work diligently with our staff, Board of Directors and general counsel to determine the best course of action in light of the TRO.”
No immediate change in the OHSAA’s current school year policy was made.
The ruling has no affect on regular season schedules or contests, however the OHSAA had already announced the tournament divisional breakdowns for 2018-19 using Competitive Balance for the sports that it affects – soccer, volleyball, football, basketball, baseball and softball.
Last school year, Carroll teams in baseball, boys basketball, boys bowling, boys cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, boys tennis and boys track & field were all deemed as Division I-level teams, while every girls sport at the school and the combined swimming & diving program were listed as Division II. Carroll’s football team jumped up a level from Division III to D II.
Carroll Athletic Director Scott Molfenter was asked to comment regarding the Hamilton Co. court ruling. Molfenter said he had been asked to refer all inquiries to Mike Schafer, the Director of Communication for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Schafer had been contacted by email, but had not responded as of presstime.
The OHSAA said information regarding the next steps for the state association or the court proceedings is not available at this time. An update will be sent when available.
In addition to Roger Bacon and Carroll, members of the GCL Coed division include Alter, Fenwick, Purcell Marian, Badin, Chaminade Julienne, and McNicholas.
The Competitive Balance Plan, approved as a referendum issue by OHSAA member schools in 2014, adds factors to school enrollment figures that are based on the residence of students on rosters of public school teams and the educational history (feeder schools) of students on rosters of non-public school teams. Enrollment figures are combined with the competitive balance factors to generate a tournament enrollment number for each school before they are assigned to an OHSAA post-season tournament division. The 2018-19 school year will be the second in which the Competitive Balance Plan is scheduled to be utilized.
John Bombatch contributed to this story.