OHSAA rejects coaches association request for pause on 16-team expansion

Sports

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Valley high school football coaches are upset Tuesday after receiving word from the OHSAA that they have shot down the coaches association’s request of a pause for the 16-team playoff format.

“They are just thinking about themselves and money right now,” said Springfield head coach Sean Guerriero.

“To most of us, it appears to be, it is all about the money,” said Columbiana head coach Bob Spaite. “Decided what they want to do, how they want to do it. They are not going to listen to anyone else. It is what it is. If you are going to be a part of the OHSAA then you are at their mercy.”

It has been a long process between the OHSAA and the coaches association. From meetings to surveys that have gone out to coaches about the expansion. 486 of the 711 high school football coaches across the state took part in the survey, with 70 percent against expanding.

“They are making decisions that are trying to put money in their pocket, and the futures of these kids, they are not thinking about anything to that nature,” Guerriero said.

“Did they give us a chance to speak? Yes,” Spaite said. “Did they have their minds made up ahead of time? Was it a stacked deck? No matter what we did, I think if it came back 100 percent, it still wouldn’t have mattered.”

The worry for Spaite is, with 16 teams getting in and a chance to make the playoffs with a sub-500 record, the regular season doesn’t amount to much anymore.

“Week one through 10 matter, because it depends on whether you are going to get in or not,” he said. “Now, you are going to have teams 3-7 make the playoffs. That doesn’t make any sense.”

As for upsets, Spaite said to not expect to see many Cinderella stories.

“You are going to go get your rear end caved in. I bet you a dollar to a doughnut that the 16 will never beat the 1,” Spaite said. “It is never going to happen. It is insanity to even expect that and it isn’t fair, not fair to the kids. Going against a mismatch in a mismatch game is not a great opportunity.”

Sports Team 27 reached out to the OHSAA for comment on Tuesday but did not hear back.

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