The IHSA strikes back!

The IHSA strikes back!

Perhaps, as some readers pointed out, I’m a being a bit harsh on the IHSA. But until you’ve been mired in that morass known as youth/school sports, you simply don’t understand how it has absolutely nothing to do with the kids anymore.

IHSA Director Marty Hickman
IHSA Director Marty Hickman

It’s all about control, making money, and political parents being able to game the system. I’ve seen far too many excellent athletes get so fed up with all the regular shenanigans that they simply walk away.
So I spoke with Aurora Rep Linda Chapa LaVia after yesterday’s three hour plus not quite love fest between House Democrats and the IHSA, and here’s what I learned:

  • Don’t seed the crowd with supporters who don’t know how to behave because it never helps your cause. Those IHSA lackeys were loud, obnoxious and rude and it only made the State Reps asking the questions believe they were on to something.
  • The Republicans don’t know how to behave either. Instead of encouraging the rabble to maintain some sense of decorum, GOP State Rep John Cavaletto and others had to play to that crowd by issuing random non-sequitur sound bytes which might just explain why Republicans are even rarer in Springfield than the number of minorities working for the IHSA.
  • Moving the IHSA’s signature boys basketball tournament from Champaign to Peoria may have made the IHSA a boatload of money, but it’s been an attendance nightmare with the number of paying fans  plummeting by 29 percent since 2006.
  • The IHSA can’t do math. Despite that Sun-Times cited 21 percent annual increase in salaries and benefits being out there in black and white, IHSA Director Marty Hickman tried to convince legislators it was actually only 8 percent. It must be that new Common Core division.
  • Let’s say that’s true (even though it isn’t). How many of you got an 8 percent raise last year with your sales numbers in the tank?
  • Minority schools, like many of those in Chicago, tend to get the short end of the IHSA stick.
  • Despite making money directly off your children, the IHSA still won’t reveal the number of and extent of their royalty and sponsorship agreements.
  • Mr. Hickman and his traveling circus probably won’t get the same kind of warm welcome when the next round of hearings moves to the Second City.
  • And lastly, Ms. Chapa LaVia noted that House members have never asked quite as many hearing questions as they did at this one. Perhaps their interest has been piqued.

On to Chicago!

0 thoughts on “The IHSA strikes back!

  1. IHSA has become a con game. Kind of like “The United Way,” whose national chairman, Mr. Aramony (i hope I spelled it right) used United Way funds to fly himself, and his MISTRESS, to various locales for vacations..
    When they aren’t transparent about royalty and sponsorship agreements, it is safe to assume the IHSA has something to hide.

  2. Jeff, you have now gone into the “Fox Zone”. Only they at least pretend to be fair and balanced. I’m actually shocked that the Beacon News article was fairer than you. I don’t expect Linda to be fair, balanced or tell the truth. She’s a politician, and will say and do whatever it takes to get in the press and get votes. (Of course she’s lost one with this farce, and as many others as I can persuade). Since the IPA has it out for the IHSA, the best way to get press is to bash the IHSA, so that’s what she’s doing. You talk about “black and white” in the papers. That doesn’t necessarily make it true, but if being in black and white is what you want, from the Beacon: “The hearing was the result of a Chapa LaVia-sponsored resolution calling for lawmakers to examine the IHSA’s finances and consider a takeover of the organization by the State Board of Education.” In your previous words you said it wasn’t about a government take-over. Wrong — IN LINDA’S OWN WORDS. As for being obnoxious and rude, I wasn’t there and won’t take anyone’s word for it until I see the video myself — if there is one. I DID see some of the video of Linda speaking on the floor of the house, and I felt SHE was being kind of rude and obnoxious with her mis-statements of fact. I’ve said before I’m not a huge fan of the IHSA, but these hearings are NOT fair, and no matter what the IHSA says, what evidence they produce, and no matter how sincere their supporters are, Linda and you have already made your minds up so they’re screwed. Personally, if I was the IHSA I would have said up yours and not shown up. But they’re trying to be cooperative, but it’s not going to matter. What a shock, attendance to a sporting event dropped during a recession when people don’t have extra money to spend, especially on something that most likely involves travel and an overnight stay. Hey, let’s move the basketball tournament to the Chicago area. Attendance will definitely go up, and so will gross revenue (I really do believe that would happen). Unfortunately, expenses will go up probably as much or more; net revenue could potentially drop below where it is now. And I spoke again to a school administrator who’s word I trust more than any politician; his school doesn’t pay IHSA any dues or fees, but GETS money from the IHSA every time they host any regional or sectional events — significantly more than it costs the school to run the event. So anybody telling you that the IHSA gets all kinds of tax money is wrong. Which brings their credibility on other things into question. They may sincerely believe what they’re saying is true, in which case they’re not lying, they’re just wrong.
    I know, you stand by every word you were fed by Linda ooops I mean every word you wrote.
    This is sad, because I felt like I was reading instead of The First Ward.

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