Football Advisory Committee

December 13, 2004 • 10 a.m.
FHSAA Headquarters
Gainesville, Florida

Gary Pigott, FHSAA Football Administrator, called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. The following committee members were in attendance: Bobby Johns, Blountstown; Phillip Yancey, Vanguard (Ocala); Tim Borcky, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando); Sam Roper, Seminole; Phil Hayford, Shorecrest Prep (St. Petersburg); Frank Tudryn, Gulf Coast (Naples); Dan Marguriet, Coconut Creek; and Joey Wiles, FACA Chair & St. Augustine. FHSAA staff members John Stewart and Denarvise Thornton were also present. Committee member Jerry Pollard (Pine Forest, Pensacola) was unable to attend.


Mr. Pigott reviewed the procedure for completing the expense vouchers and e-mail addresses were confirmed.

Mr. Pigott welcomed the committee to the FHSAA Office, reviewed the agenda and gave the committee an overview of the process of any recommendations from the football advisory committee. Each person present introduced himself.

Motion by Mr. Wiles, seconded by Mr. Borcky and carried (Vote: 8-0) to select Phillip Yancey, Vanguard, as committee chairperson.

The agenda was adopted as presented.

Discussion – Open Date, Championship Sites & Classification/Districting Issues: Dr. Stewart discussed the previously listed topics and asked the committee for some input. The committee expressed consensus support of adding an open date and was in favor of playing a ten (10) week schedule in an eleven (11) week season. Fall practice would begin a week earlier to accommodate the open date with the preseason classics and regular season beginning one week earlier. Any changes to the FHSAA calendar must be reviewed and approved by both the Athletic Directors Advisory Committee and the FHSAA Board of Directors. Tallahassee, Gainesville and South Florida (Broward & Dade counties) were discussed as the strongest possibilities to host the 2005 & 2006 FHSAA Football Finals. Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) will be available in early January for any organizations/facilities interested in hosting this event. Mr. Johns and Mr. Hayford expressed a concern if Class 2A & 1A state championship games are not held in the same facility as the larger classification games. Appeals to the 2005-08 district assignments were discussed. The committee expressed concern about schools requesting to move up a classification for reasons other than a geographic hardship. The committee believed strongly that schools should honor their commitment to participate in the playoffs and if they do not, the consequences must be severe to provide a strong deterrent.
Discussion - Review of 2003 Football Advisory Committee Minutes: The committee reviewed the recommendations from the 2003 Football Advisory Committee meeting.

2003 Recommendation #1: Motion by Mr. Tudryn, seconded by Mr. Borcky and carried, Vote: Unanimous (7-0), to reinstate the open date based on the results of FHSAA survey (see attached) of head football coaches.
Rationale: It would help with the shortage of officials and in some areas of the state with stadium usage. It would also increase the flexibility in scheduling that is non-existent without an 11th date. The open date provides a “healing factor” for football teams and assists with safety and conditioning concerns.

ATHLETIC DIRECTORS: Motion by Colby, seconded by Murphy to deny (Vote: 8-0). Calendar issue has already been addressed and this will adversely affect the other sports and seasons.
2ND Reading FBAC: Motion by Mr. Tudryn, seconded by Mr. Wiles and carried (Vote: 8-0) to support the recommendation.
2ND Reading ADAC: Meet again on January 5, 2005.
Board of Director: Meet again on January 30-31, 2005.

2003 Recommendation #2: Motion by Mr. Yancey, seconded by Mr. Borcky and carried, Vote: Unanimous (7-0), to use the “Breaking Ties” criteria listed on page 16 [item 204.02 (2)] of the Football Manual instead of the “overall win-loss percentage” criteria listed on page 16 [item 204.03 (3-c)].

Rationale: Consistent criteria used for both district tiebreaker seeding and playoff bracket seeding.

ATHLETIC DIRECTORS: Motion by Gwynes, seconded by Colby to deny (Vote: 8-0). Believe the current policy is adequate and determines the District Tiebreaker Host in a timelier manner than using the strength of schedule. Inclement weather or scheduling issues may prevent some schools from only playing 8 games.
2ND Reading FBAC: Motion by Mr. Tudryn, seconded by Mr. Roper and carried (Vote: 8-0) to reconsider this recommendation. Leave the current regulations as is per ADAC rationale.
2ND Reading ADAC: Meet again on January 5, 2005.

Discussion – 2004 State Championships: Mr. Pigott praised the organizations (GSOC & UAA) in Gainesville for the exceptional job they did in hosting the FHSAA Florida Football Finals this year. Mr. Johns’ team, Blountstown, was one of the participating teams and was complimentary as well.

Discussion - FACA Recommendations: The Florida Athletic Coaches Association (FACA) Football Committee did not submit any items for the committee to review. Mr. Wiles, FACA Football Chairperson, mentioned the two topics discussed at the last FACA Football conference were the open date and the December FACA clinic site being held in the same city as the FHSAA Football Finals. Mr. Roper raised an issue about the lack of communication between FACA district chairman and their members.

Discussion – Mercy Rule: Mr. Pigott submitted this agenda item. An article from the Tampa Tribune that clearly illustrated the issues was shared with the committee. The current policy requires the request of the coach whose team is 30 points or more behind in the 2nd half to agree to a running clock. Many game officials and coaches support a regulation that would automatically go into effect once a specific point difference occurs in the second half. Many coaches have a concern about the perception that their team is quitting if they agree to a running clock. The majority of NFHS sports have a mercy rule that is required, not the option of the head coach.

2004 Recommendation #1: Motion by Mr. Borcky, seconded by Mr. Roper and carried, Vote: Unanimous (8-0), to modify the current mercy rule. Proposed modification would raise the differential from 30 to 40 points. Head coach will still have the option of a “running clock” in the 3rd quarter, but the “running clock” becomes mandatory in the 4th quarter with a differential of 40 points or more. The clock will run continuously during the 4th quarter with the exceptions of any team or officials timeouts or when the differential in the score becomes less than 40 points.

Rationale: Eliminates the perception that a coach is quitting or giving up on his team when in fact they are protecting their team. Should help reduce the frustration and unsportsmanlike situations that result from a mismatch of this type. Change more closely aligned to other NFHS mercy rule codes.

ATHLETIC DIRECTORS: Meet again on Jan. 5, 2005. Item may need to be fast-tracked.

Discussion – Playoff Roster Limit of 60: Mr. Yancey submitted this agenda item. The committee discussed the playoff roster limit of 60 players. Generally, 30-35 players actually get on the field for a play. Five of the fourteen schools that participated in the FHSAA Football Finals had the 60-player maximum. This item did not have any committee support and died for a lack of motion.

Discussion – 3 Coaches in the Coaching Box (NFHS Rule): Mr. Yancey submitted this agenda item. The committee was informed that this would require a NFHS football rules change. Mr. Pigott stated that he would forward the NFHS rule change form to Mr. Yancey. The committee took no other action.

Discussion – Public/Private Playoff: Mr. Tudryn submitted this agenda item. With the results of the 2004 FHSAA Football Finals, the discussion turned to the concerns over recruiting issues. Schools that violate the recruiting policy need to be severely penalized. Mr. Bill Grey, Associate Commissioner for Compliance, joined the committee for this topic. The committee agreed that recruiting is an area of concern from public to public schools as well as public to private schools. The committee believes the recruiting issue is of paramount importance to all schools and to the integrity of high school football in Florida. The committee identified the following areas of concerns with suggestions to assist the situation:
1) Rules & Penalties: more publication about the FHSAA recruiting rules and penalties; what is legal and illegal?
2) Violations: provide public information when schools violate the rules and provide the penalty.
3) Enforcement: secure part-time staff in each of the 4 sections to investigate allegations of illegal actions.
4) Principals’ Involvement: The administration at each school must take an active role in enforcing the
recruiting policies.
5) Deterrents: need incentives to follow the rules and severely penalize the violators.
6) Communication: better communication of recruiting rules to parents of student-athletes.
The committee took no other action.

Discussion – FHSAA Football Manual: The existing FHSAA Football Manual was reviewed. No additional changes were suggested.

Open Agenda: No additional concerns raised.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:40 p.m.