One vote could have shaken the Class 6A football world on Wednesday.
That's all it would have taken to put the Class 7A proposal in the hands of the current 32 Class 6A schools to vote on for final acceptance.
But by a vote of 7-6 on Wednesday, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors rejected the proposal that would have split the current 6A into two 16-team classes.
The board instead voted to send the issue back to the Constitution and Rules Review Committee, which developed the proposal.
“We'll probably take time to let the athletic directors and superintendents who had their support for the proposal to see if there are other issues or other things we can do to help get a solution that's acceptable and works,” said Yukon superintendent Bill Denton, a board member who also headed the review committee.
“We said in the committee meeting that this (proposal) may be an option, or something better may come out of it, but we wanted to put it out there.”
The motion to send the issue back to the committee for further discussion passed by a 6-5 vote with two members abstaining, showing the divisiveness of the issue.
Mustang football coach Ty Prestidge, one of about a dozen representatives from 6A schools who attended Wednesday's meeting, said the consensus of the coaches he has spoken to suggested that more discussion was needed on the issue.
“I know the OSSAA had their committee meetings, but a lot of people hadn't heard about this until last month, and all of a sudden, it was coming to a vote,” said Prestidge, who is on the advisory committee for the Oklahoma Football Coaches Association.
“I've been getting a lot of calls about it, and the coaches felt it happened real quick. Most of them weren't totally against it or totally for it, but they wanted to get some more information.”
Prestidge said the OFCA advisory committee won't meet again until February. The 7A issue has been a hot topic at other meetings, like the Central Oklahoma Athletic Directors' regular gathering.
On Wednesday, board members voiced concerns about the creation of another classification, travel issues created by a class that would have four Tulsa-area teams and 12 Oklahoma City-area teams, and also the potential that such a split would be sought by other sports on an individual basis.
But football, where Jenks and Tulsa Union have won the last 17 Class 6A state championships, is the primary concern.
It was not known when the Constitution and Rules Review Committee would reconvene. The board will meet again Jan. 9.
The 14-member committee that developed the proposal includes administrators from large and small schools, and from virtually all regions of the state. It was designed to review several rules in the OSSAA constitution, not just 6A football.
Any changes to the classification system would have to pass both board and membership vote by late July, when the districts for the 2014-15 seasons will be determined.