WIAA to Vote on "Multiplier" Wednesday

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Eau Claire (WEAU)- The proposal is quite simple in nature. All private schools in the state would have their enrollment multiplied by 1.65. A school of 100 would move up to 165, shifting their divisions to face stiffer competition in an attempt to even the playing field since, in theory; private schools can recruit better players.

Let's delve deeper into the numbers, the three largest private schools that have football and basketball in our area are Chippewa Falls McDonell, Eau Claire Regis and La Crosse Aquinas. With the multiplier of 1.65, those schools would all jump up two divisions. Regis head football coach Bryant Brenner does not like the proposal.

"What is really wrong is that the schools that do well and work really hard get punished. There are a lot of public schools that work really hard and have good programs too, and they don't get punished. To apply a blanket statement is nothing but discrimination to the private schools."

Eau Claire Immanuel had around 124 students enrolled this past year and was Division 5 in basketball but with the proposed WIAA multiplier, the Lancers would move up to Division 4. Immanuel Athletic Director Mark Kranz finds that tough pill to swallow.

"We have been close , but we have never been to one state tournament games in any of the major team sports. So we don't gain much by being moved up a division, that is for sure."

Joe LaBuda and his Menomonie Mustangs have been a public school football powerhouse in this area for years. LaBuda sees that there is need for a change, but also knows the multiplier might not be needed for all schools, "We have situations around here where I don't necessarily think you have the recruiting going on. You have the Regis, the Aquinas and McDonell, I don't know if those schools are recruiting. I don't believe so. I think those kids go there for the right reason so it is a tough think to do, a blanket multiplier."

Whether public or private, all schools know if the vote passes the WIAA playoffs will definitely be changed for years to come. Mark Kranz hopes the focus remains on players.

"I know that society looks up to winners, but that can't be all we hang our hat on. We have to keep our eye on the ball and not lose track on what we are trying to provide for the next generation."

The vote is scheduled at the WIAA headquarters in Stevens Point on Wednesday morning.

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