U.S. Grant, Capitol Hill requests for football independent status rejected by OSSAA
HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK — Two Oklahoma City schools are consider options that include forming a football co-op or disbanding their programs after the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association rejected U.S. Grant and Capitol Hill's request Wednesday for football independent status.
Discussion about Class 7A proposals and the public school-private school issue have been hotly debated over the last few years to address opinions that certain teams are winning too many championships. Oklahoma City Public Schools athletic director Keith Sinor finds himself on the other end of the spectrum.
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He's seeking some relief for two long-struggling football programs.
Sinor appeared before the OSSAA Board of Directors on Wednesday to request that the U.S. Grant and Capitol Hill football teams be allowed to play independent schedules for the 2014-15 seasons, rather than remain in OSSAA districts.
The request was denied by a vote of 8-5. The board also rejected a proposal to create Class 7A football by splitting 6A into two 16-team classes.
Sinor called it a “sad day,” and said he and the rest of the OKCPS administration would look at other options that are available for a pair of programs that have combined for two winning seasons since 1989.
Grant has had 16 one- or no-win seasons in the last 24 years. Capitol Hill hasn’t won more than two games in a year since 1992, and both programs’ consistent struggles date back to at least the 1970s.
Among the options they've discussed include co-op possibilities to combine the teams, which creates transportation and time issues for players who have jobs after practice. Sinor feels it would discourage more boys from playing, the exact opposite of his motives.
Sinor also said the district has looked at disbanding the football programs at the two schools.
“We've looked at all the options, and independence seemed to be the best choice,” Sinor said. “We'll go back and try to figure out what will be best for our kids.”
OSSAA rules require a school seeking independence to withdraw from the association in all sports, a rule that Sinor and Putnam City Schools athletic director Dick Balenseifen unsuccessfully challenged last month.
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