Football Advisory Committee

Jan. 5, 2009 • 10 a.m.
Robert W. Hughes FHSAA Building
Gainesville, Florida

Gary Pigott, FHSAA Football Administrator, called the meeting to order at 10:01 a.m. The following committee members were in attendance: Marty Lee, First Coast High School (Jacksonville); Scott Anderson, East Gadsden High School (Havana); Joey Wiles, St. Augustine High School; Charlie Tate, Winter Haven High School; Phil Hayford, Shorecrest Prep School (St. Petersburg); Bill Kramer, Naples High School; Shelton Crews (FACA Chair), Godby High School (Tallahassee); and Joe Underwood, GMAC Football Officials Association (Miami), Ex-Officio Member. FHSAA staff members Denarvise Thornton, Paul McLaughlin, Sonny Hester, and Shanell Young were present. FHSAA interns Raleigh Green and Ron Talone were also present. Committee members Joe Tinsley, Coral Springs Christian Academy and Phillip Ziglar, Boone High School (Orlando) were unable to attend.


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

Motion by Mr. Kramer, seconded by Mr. Wiles and carried (7-0 vote) to select Phil Hayford, Shorecrest Prep, as committee chairperson.

Mr. Hester discussed district entry lists and rosters for football. This would allow for schools and the FHSAA to review the eligibility of players on football teams. Mr. Hester requested that this item be added to the agenda for discussion and possible endorsement.

The agenda was adopted with an amendment to add an item for football district entry lists and rosters. Motion by Mr. Kramer seconded by Mr. Anderson and carried (7-0 vote) to approve the amendment. Motion by Mr. Lee, seconded by Mr. Crews and carried (7-0 vote) to adopt the agenda as amended.

Discussion – PREPARE online sports safety course: Mr. McLaughlin reviewed PREPARE online sports safety course. He offered coaches on advisory committees the opportunity to take this course free of charge in order to provide feedback. Called attention to flyer with information for coaches to take the course that was included in the meeting packet. Other sports have reported positive feedback on the course, but football has the greatest risk of injury so the input from coaches would be greatly appreciated. Mr. Wiles questioned if this was something that the FHSAA wanted coaches to have in a required education form. Answer is not required but thinks it is a good teaching tool. New technology allows for easier and better education of coaches. The goal for the course if informational and wants feedback from coaches to see if it is an effective learning tool.

Discussion - Review of 2008 Football Advisory Committee Minutes: The committee reviewed the recommendations from the 2008 Football Advisory Committee meeting. Please refer to 2008 Recommendations below for details and committee action.

2007/08 Recommendation #1: Motion by Mr. Tate, seconded by Mr. Damon and carried, Vote: Unanimous (6-0) to recommend the Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) policy on the videotaping of injury situations, postgame handshakes and any other unsportsmanlike incidents that may occur during a football game.
Rationale: The safety of the players and personnel involved. See attached OCPS policy
ATHLETIC DIRECTORS: Voted to table (8-0), concerns over privacy of injury situations and verbiage in policy. May increase liability instead of helping the situation.

Discussion: Concern over how the taping of injuries may increase the legal liability for the schools.
2006/07 Recommendation #5: Motion by Mr. Kramer, seconded by Mr. Hayde and carried, vote: unanimous (7-0) to double the payout, on page 20 of the FHSAA Football Manual, to schools that play in the FHSAA Football Finals.
Rationale: Many schools lose money or break even when they make it to the FHSAA Finals due to travel expenses. A successful year on the field should also compute to financial success.

ATHLETIC DIRECTORS: Took no action. Want more financial impact data before acting.
2ND Reading FBAC: Motion by Mr. Crews, seconded by Mr. Hayde, Vote: unanimous (6-0), Request a review of participating school payout on a regular basis.
2ND Reading ADAC: Voted to support 7-1.
This issue has not been resolved yet but is in progress; AD’s want more financial data to determine what impact this will have on the FHSAA budget. Refer to Finance Committee for review and address this item.

2007/08 Recommendation #2: Motion by Mr. Crews, seconded by Mr. Damon and carried, Vote: unanimous (6-0) to recommend a flat rate "sanction fee" or to adjust (lower to 15 or 16%) percentage to FHSAA for football classics and jamborees. 08/09 Amendment: Participating schools should not make less than the FHSAA from these events.
Rationale: "Sanction fee" instead of percentage is prevalent in other FHSAA team sports. Participating member schools should gain the same amount of revenue as FHSAA Office. In some situations, FHSAA is grossing more revenue than the participating schools after expenses.

ATHLETIC DIRECTORS: Voted to support 8-0.
2ND Reading FBAC: Motion by Mr. Kramer seconded by Mr. Crews to amend (7-0 vote).
2ND Reading ADAC: January 2009
Discussion about flat rate: Consensus was that schools playing in these events should get a similar portion of the revenue than the FHSAA. Concerns over school size and interest in the program were addressed and how that impacts the revenues from the classic or jamboree events.

2007/08 Recommendation #3: Motion by Mr. Hayde, Seconded by Mr. Tate and carried, Vote: unanimous (6-0) to adjust football player regular season game limit from 10 to 11 regular season games. When sub-varsity player is moved up to the varsity team at the conclusion of the junior varsity season, 11-week season can cause some incidental 10-game player violations.
Rationale: Players are dressing for only 1 game per week. Provides flexibility for coaches and more playing opportunities for student-athletes.

ATHLETIC DIRECTORS: Voted to not support 8-0. Concerns with movement of varsity players down to the sub-varsity team during the "open week" or to beat the rival school.
2nd Reading FBAC: Motion by Mr. Kramer, seconded by Mr. Crews (7-0 vote).
2nd Reading ADAC:
Discussion: Mr. Pigott said the JV was good to use to develop players but a coach could put varsity players on their JV teams during the "open week" to give backup varsity players some playing time.

Discussion – 2008 State Championships: Mr Pigott wanted input from the coaches on how they felt about the event, including Mr. Crews whose team participated. Overall attendance was down, but was to be expected with the economic times. Mr. Crews stated that it was a terrific venue, and everything leading up to the event was hectic but good. Mr. Thornton had an idea to leave the game times open until the matchups are set and then set the times based on the schools involved in the games. The consensus thought that would be a good idea. Mr Pigott said that the times would most likely stay the same, but the matchups could determine a 1 p.m. game or a 7 p.m. game. Mr. Crews had concerns with the length of the pregame activities and it takes up time in the warm-ups routine. Mr. Wiles said that the time is very tight and things must happen very quickly. Mr. Kramer believes that the coaches’ wives and children should be allowed to join the coaches on the field after the game. Mr Pigott thinks that letting children on the field may take away from the decorum of the awards ceremony. Mr. Kramer thinks the wives should meet at a designated area after the game to be escorted onto the field. Mr. Crews believes that postgame is all that is necessary for wives. This situation will be discussed at the wrap-up meeting with the Central Florida Sports Commission. Mr Pigott said the contract runs for 2 more years and he thinks that the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando is a great location for the event.

Discussion – Sideline Safety Rule Experiment: Mr. Pigott commended Mr. Underwood for his leadership on this issue. He also commended the coaches for their cooperation in dealing with this rule experiment. Mr. Crews says that if the coach knows the rules that officials are less likely to have problems with coaches. Mr. Pigott believes the rule has helped clean up the sidelines during the games in Florida. This has been a 3-year experiment and after the conclusion of the experiment if their is no national rule change there would have to be a Florida adopted change or go back to the NFHS rule prior to the experiment. Mr Anderson thinks that it would help if venues put the player’s restraint line to help keep players back. Mr. Crews echoed that idea, should have a player’s area and coach’s area. Mr Tate disagreed, that all schools don’t have the same field size and mandating a box would cause problems for some places.

2008/09 Recommendation #1: Motion by Mr. Kramer, seconded by Mr. Crews (6-1 vote) to continue the FHSAA sideline safety rule unless a similar NFHS football rule is adopted for the 2009 season.
2ND Reading FBAC: January 2010
2ND Reading ADAC: January 2010

Discussion – NFHS Playoff Game Stats: The NFHS statistics for 51 playoff games were shared with the committee. The FHSAA provides playoff game stats to the NFHS Football Rules Committee each season for their review. Mr. Kramer would like for averages to be calculated instead of just giving the total statistics. Mr. Thornton said that conduct and sportsmanship was very good and he was satisfied, there was only one incident as a result of poor conduct at the FHSAA Football Finals.

FACA Recommendations: Mr. Crews had none.

Discussion: Water Break Rule Modification: All coaches are comfortable with current rule and don’t believe a change is necessary to prevent coaching during the water break timeout. Dr. Miles should address his concern with local school Administration.

Discussion: Allowing teams playing out-o- state games to start practicing a week before the current date: The coaches agreed that when a team decides to play an out-of-state game that they understand what conditions go along with that decision and no special treatment should be provided.

Discussion: Excessive End Zone Celebration: The committee discussed the problems surrounding end zone unsportsmanlike conduct at high school games. Also talked about problems with certain schools about their conduct during games and involving off field issues. Mr. Wiles believes that there must be people at the school that don’t tolerate that type of activity. Mr. Kramer says that officials will flag this conduct, but sometimes officials can be intimidated by certain areas and may be less likely to penalize teams. Mr Tate thinks that officials may be less likely to eject players or penalize teams during playoffs because they want teams to be at full strength during these games. He thinks officials should flag conduct and let coaches then deal with substituting players who commit these penalties.

Discussion: Storm electronic video exchange.: Mr. Pigott explained the STORM video exchange system. The coaches discussed technology that helps with statistics and other film issues. Mr. Thornton discussed and the possibility of a partnership with them. This would allow coaches to put scores into the Maxprep website instead of the FHSAA website. Mr. Kramer has issue with this because the statistics on the website could be inflated or inaccurate and could have an impact on postseason awards and other issues. Mr. Thornton believes this may be a good opportunity for the FHSAA to bring in some sponsorship dollars and provide exposure for the schools and student-athletes.

Discussion: Classification & Districting Procedures: Mr. McLaughlin explained an issue that was taken by a coach about the districts classification. Mr. Pigott gave an overview of the district classification process and how those decisions are determined. Mr. Anderson thought that schools appealing to change districts should be posted so schools in the districts can prepare and give feedback on their thoughts on possible change. Mr. Wiles had issue with schools trying to change classification to get away from more difficult teams and programs. Mr. Lee thought that a .500 winning percentage should be added as a stipulation to playoff participation. Small districts can produce a playoff team with a poor record making the playoffs because they won one district game. Discussion continued on this topic with regards to how we would replace teams that would not meet those criteria. Mr. Tate thinks that could be dangerous because some teams play very difficult non-district schedules and that could lead to poor records. Mr. Kramer agrees with that idea, and having a .500 winning percentage as a requirement would be difficult on a variety of fronts. Mr. Lee thinks we should look at alternatives to the district champion and district runner-up format. Mr. Thornton says that if we can get a situation to work without creating a disadvantage to a team that would be ideal. The coaches agreed that posting appeals on the website would be a good idea so they would have time to prepare for potential problems with scheduling. Mr. Thornton explained all concerns are addressed during the staff review process for district appeals. Mr. Lee believes that posting appeals may serve as a deterrent to coaches from making frivolous appeals.

2008/09 Recommendation #2: Motion by Mr. Kramer, seconded by Mr. Wiles (7-0 vote) to require a "region" entry lists for football and rosters for football teams by first regular season playing date and then regional rosters for week before playoffs. Motion by Mr. Lee, seconded by Mr. Anderson (7-0 vote) to fast track this item. Both the football roster and entry list would be submitted via the iFHSAA database.
Discussion: This idea was supported and thought to be a good procedure. This would provide more accountability for the tracking of football players via the electronic eligibility system.
2ND Reading FBAC: January 2010
2ND Reading ADAC: January 2010

Discussion: Officials Advisory Committee items presented by Joe Underwood.
Non essential equipment - Mr. Underwood discussed non essential equipment and adornments such as bands or inappropriate padding that provide no medical protection. He explained rules that called for a delay of game penalty for the first infraction and an unsportsmanlike penalty for the next infractions. The debate went to if equipment was going to be penalized it is illegal equipment and should be addressed prior to the game. Mr. Pigott stressed that officials are encouraged to look at these issues prior to the game and practice "preventative officiating".
Mercy rule – Mr. Underwood believes that the team in the lead should not be allowed to call timeout during the last two minutes of a game under mercy rule conditions. Mr. Wiles thinks it is a bad precedent to set that a coach can’t call timeouts at certain points at the game. Mr. Lee thinks that in a situation like that that the referees should notify the FHSAA and request the coach be reprimanded.

NFHS rules – Mr. Underwood wants the officials to announce the number of the player committing the penalty. Mr. Underwood says that by announcing the number it would solve the issue of the referee having to take time out to tell the coach what player committed the infraction. Mr. Kramer thinks that if the official is to announce a wrong number, the fans will react negatively towards the officials and it may create a credibility issue. He also doesn’t want his players having to deal with the possibility of fans overreacting and negative retribution.

Loss of timeout for unsportsmanlike conduct - Mr. Underwood recommended a loss of timeout on unsportsmanlike fouls after the first is called. He wants coaches to control their players and feels that coaches will take it more seriously if the loss of a timeout is a consequence. The coaches agreed that some schools are more egregious in their unsportsmanlike conduct and they should be penalized. Unsportsmanlike conduct is also somewhat of a judgment call, some officials will call these fouls more readily than others.

Removal of a player after unsportsmanlike foul - Mr. Underwood recommended taking a player out of a game for one play after an unsportsmanlike foul. Officials believe that would give the coach an opportunity to tell the player to calm down and teach the student about proper behavior. Mr. Tate wanted to emphasize that jubilation and unsportsmanlike conduct are different things and all these penalties are taking away from the fun of the game. Mr. Kramer feels like the coach should coach the game and the referee shouldn’t be making any mandates about timeouts or who is playing. The coaches came to a consensus that they were comfortable with the penalties that were currently in place regarding this issue.

Registered Timers in the Postseason - Mr. Underwood wanted timers to be included in postseason assignments. These people would be registered timers and designated by their Associations. All coaches supported this recommendation.

Open Agenda: Multiple coaches expressed concerns with the Spalding footballs in regards to the inflation of the footballs and the footballs blowing up. The coaches state that the balls are wearing out and the quality of the ball is not the same as it was and compared to other products it is not as good. FHSAA staff requested that those concerns be put in writing to them so that concerns can be forwarded to the Spalding representative. Mr. Lee was interested in exploring making PAT’s a live ball if the ball was blocked. Mr. Pigott reported that Oregon had an experiment with this rule change, but it was not adopted by the NFHS Football Rules Committee.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:32 p.m.