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home : opinions : letters to the editor
April 23, 2018

4/12/2018 7:30:00 AM
Reader questions whether non-public schools should be allowed to enter WIAA tournaments

To the Editor:

Is it fair to the public schools to allow non-public schools to enter the WIAA tournaments based on their enrollments at the same level of enrollment as the public schools? The schools in Divisions 4 and 5 are affected the most by this.

When the non-public schools were allowed to enter the WIAA tournament series several years ago, an administrator I knew, who was also on the Board of Control for the WIAA stated that if the non-public schools are allowed to enter at the same enrollment level as public schools it will never work because they will dominate the tournament.

This is exactly what happened! If anyone looks back over the tournament series since the non-public schools were allowed in the tournament, they can see how many more non-public schools have been at the state tournament compared proportionately to the public schools especially at Divisions 4 and 5.

I would like to give an example of a school that just competed and won the Division 4 state title at the recently completed girls state tournament in basketball. LaCrosse Aquinas, listed with an enrollment of 281 students, is allowed into the tournament at the division 4 level even though most of the schools they compete against all season are from Divisions 1, 2 and 3.

Aquinas beat LaCrosse Logan and LaCrosse Central, both Division 2 schools, very badly which would mean to me they have all the better athletes in the LaCrosse area.

They also played Division 2 schools Onalaska, Hayward, Tomah and Edgewood.

They played Division 1 teams Chippewa Falls and Divine Savior Holy Angels. They beat them all and many very badly, yet they are allowed to compete in Division 4 for the WIAA tournament.

Is this really fair? Several people I talked to at the tourney thought Aquinas could have beaten most of the Division 1, 2 and 3 teams at the tournament.

When will the public schools, especially in Divisions 4 and 5, step up and tell the WIAA tournament people they will no longer accept this?

The enrollment numbers at non-public schools should at least be doubled or at least the non-public schools should be advanced one level above their enrollment numbers to be fair to the public schools.

Public schools must take all students not using a selection process. Public schools do not recruit students as non-public schools can.

Harold Resch


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