Representative Conklin introduces new bill for high school playoff system

Local News

Thursday State Representative Scott Conklin introduced a bill that would change the playoff system for high school sports in Pennsylvania.

Scott Conklin, Democrat, State Representative from the 77th District, spoke today along side coaches from the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association about a new bill he says coaches and referees have been wanting for years.

Representative Conklin introduced HB 919 to create two separate high school championship systems, one for public and one for private schools.  He says high school coaches and referees have been telling him the current system is unfair and unsafe.

“They said you ought to go referee a game to where you’re looking at a public school playing a non-public school, when you’re looking at a young man on the line that weighs one hundred and seventy five pounds  lined up against a young man that weighs three hundred pounds.”
He says currently, public schools can only take student athletes in their district, while private schools can recruit kids from all over the world.
Tom Smith, Assistant Coach for the Bishop McCourt High School Football team doesn’t want to make a change. He thinks the system is safe the way it is.
“They talk about safety, safety in football,” Tom Smith, Assistant Football Coach for Bishop McCort High School, said.  “When you get to the playoffs no matter if you’re in 5A, 4A, A, there are gigantic enormous lineman at that level.  That has no impact on this whatsoever.”
Representative Conklin says he’s not trying to take away the winning ways of private schools or Catholic schools like Smith’s.
“It’s about fairness, it’s about safety, it’s about giving opportunity to all children, but what this doesn’t do is publish a non-public school,” Conklin said.
If it gets support, Representative Conklin hopes HB919 will be passed by the Summer.


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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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