Will the newly implemented IHSA Success Factor rule, which takes effect this playoff season, lead to eventually separating private and public schools in Illinois come state playoff time?
The Success Factor rule was put in place by the IHSA towards non-boundary or private schools "who have experienced success beyond the norm." These schools will now play 'up' a class in the playoffs. Both Montini Catholic (5A) and Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (5A) will be "successed" when the 2015 playoffs start. Both will compete in 6A if they make the state playoff field. Currently, both schools are 3-0 heading into Week 4 and both are the top two ranked teams in Class 6A polls.
While the Success Factor rule will only impact two schools for now, I can't help but wonder if this is just another step towards an eventual separation of both public and private schools during the playoffs.
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Illinois remains the largest state in the country that still keeps all of its members together to compete against each other in the playoffs. Why? I've always felt that Illinois is unique when it comes to the large amount of private or Catholic high schools concentrated within the Chicagoland area. You'll be hard pressed to find any area in the country with as many private schools with as much history and tradition than here in Illinois.
Personally, I'd hate to ever see a separation happen for several reasons. Yet, it seems to me that IHSA membership keeps tweaking the system, whether the rules are intended to improve the entire state playoff system or to benefit a handful of schools or penalize a handful of schools.
If separation of public and private schools is the eventual goal, can we just stop the scavenger hunt, rip off the Band-Aid and just get to it already?