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The Boston Globe

Sports

MIAA won’t hurry new playoff proposal

FRANKLIN - The MIAA board of directors sent a clear message yesterday to the latest proposal for a state-wide football playoff system.

Slow down.

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“I don’t think fast track is the right term but I don’t think there’s been enough discussion,’’ said board member and Malden assistant principal Marilyn Slattery. “I don’t know if member schools know enough about this proposal. I think it’s a short timeline.’’

The comment came during discussion on a motion by Athol athletic director David King to vote on the proposal at the MIAA annual meeting March 30. At the 2010 annual meeting, a proposal for a state-wide playoff system was voted down, 190-114.

The Coaches Association presented a new proposal to the Football Committee Feb. 9. With the committee meeting again March 12, and a meeting of the Tournament Management Committee March 19, King felt the time was right to put the new proposal before this year’s annual meeting.

But King’s fellow board members disagreed.

“The information was out there then,’’ said East Boston principal Mike Rubin, talking about the 2010 proposal. “This [proposal] hasn’t been out there at all.’’

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“I think a vote at this annual meeting is premature,’’ said Concord-Carlisle athletic director Barry Haley.

“No one wants to hurry a decision of this magnitude,’’ said Algonquin athletic director Fran Whitten.

The motion was defeated, 7-2, with King and Catholic Memorial athletic director and football coach Alex Campea voting in favor. If the TMC approves the proposal on March 19, the board can simply go along with it and the state has a new playoff system starting in 2013, or push it to a membership vote at the 2013 annual meeting. If it goes to a membership vote, the two-year pilot playoff system would likely be delayed until the fall of 2015.

Parental concerns

The meeting started with statements by parents of two Central Mass student-athletes, each focusing on what they said were breakdowns in the MIAA rules.

Roy and Gwen Parsons spoke on behalf of their son Bryan, a senior captain of the Shrewsbury hockey team. Bryan was given two game disqualifications this winter, the second resulting in his suspension and as Roy stated, “the death penalty for his high school hockey career.’’ Roy wanted better reviewing of all rules with the players as well as a review process for suspensions.

The second parent was Karen Cornetta, mother of Gardner senior swimmer Katelin. Gardner swim coach Don Lemieux stepped down prior to the state championship after alleged practice violations. Karen was critical of the MIAA’s system of self-reporting of violations. She presented information to the board “of how the self-reporting system has repeatedly failed. What happens when winning becomes more important than following the rules?’’

The Gardner school system is currently investigating Lemieux and the swim program.

Hockomock loses

The Hockomock League asked the board for approval to extend their season by one game to allow a title game between the winner of the Kelley-Rex and Davenport divisions. The board unanimously voted no, citing the precedent that would be set.

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