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Posted January 4, 2017

Petition asks Michigan athletic association for competitive balance

From Winning Hoops

A former Michigan prep football coach has started a petition asking the state's athletic association to consider measures that would create more competitive balance between public and private schools.

The effort was started by Chad Phillips who, according to his LinkedIn page, spent more than 10 years coaching high school football in the state. In one month, his petition on Change.org has secured nearly 1,600 of its 2,500-signature goal. Once it reaches the goal, it will be sent to Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Executive Director Jack Roberts.

"Private schools represent only 14% of MHSAA schools, but they are winning two or three times as many state championships as they statistically should," the petition reads. "For instance, private schools have won 40% of the state titles in football, 54% in hockey, 41% in girl's basketball, and 53% in girl's soccer since the year 2000.  

"We believe students should not have a built in advantage based on the type of school they attend. The statistics prove that the MHSAA should consider more than enrollment in determining playoff groupings. We are asking the MHSAA to provide state championship data to member schools and let them have a yes or no vote on implementing a competitive balance proposal. If member schools vote yes, a second vote should be taken to pick a particular system to assure greater fairness in the playoffs."

The issue of competitive balance is one that's not unique to Michigan. Ohio passed a competitive balance referendum in 2014, but it still has not been implemented. California last year approved a "competitive equity" format that similarly tries to make postseason games more competitive.

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