The GHSA executive committee made a decision that affected every Class A school when it voted Tuesday for a public/private split during the playoffs.
The committee, however, deliberated on another Class A issue that may have ramifications for FPD.
During the process of ratifying region reclassification Tuesday morning, the reclassification subcommittee appeared to retroactively deny FPD’s appeal to move from Region 7-A to Region 4-A.
The subcommittee “tentatively approved” FPD’s appeal in December for a move to Region 4. FPD argued travel would be easier grouped with schools ranging from Columbus to Hawkinsville rather than those spanning from Jeffersonville to Lincolnton, which straddles the Georgia-South Carolina border north of Augusta.
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On Tuesday, however, the subcommittee might have reversed their decision, based on the comments of a few of its members.
“The way it was explained to me is that Lincoln County and FPD will be placed in Region 7 given there is no further action from the public schools that talked about leaving the GHSA,” FPD athletics director Greg Moore said.
Early in Tuesday’s meeting, members of the executive committee sought clarification on the two schools -- FPD and Lincoln County -- that had appeals tentatively approved in December.
Lincoln County appealed to move to Region 8-A because it was concerned Region 7-A would dissolve if several of the public schools in Class A left for the startup Georgia Public Schools Association, Lincoln County head football coach Larry Campbell said.
Campbell and Moore pled their cases to the subcommittee consecutively during the appeals meeting, and members of the subcommittee apparently believed their fates were tied together. They approved both moves together, subcommittee member Jesse Crews said, and not separately. Moore said he was told Tuesday the subcommittee was prepared to deny FPD’s appeal back in December unless it was tied to Lincoln County.
GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin said in December he didn’t believe that was the case, that FPD’s move was based on travel and thus independent of the Lincoln County appeal. So Swearngin told reporters Tuesday he wasn’t so sure of FPD’s fate. He said the GHSA would go back and look at the minutes from the December appeals meeting to determine where FPD will land. No determination will be made on FPD, however, until the GPSA formally declares that its schools will stay in the GHSA. He said if FPD’s appeal approval was contingent on the GPSA decision, then the GHSA couldn’t move on the issue until the GPSA schools made that decision.
Moore said previously he thought the move to Region 4-A would help travel costs and maintain some burgeoning rivalries with some of the 4-A schools.
“We have enjoyed the beginning of our time in the GHSA, and we will be OK with whatever decision they make,” Moore said Thursday.