Merger plan gets OK from principals

MIAA would add teams from D.C. for football

High Schools

May 18, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's 28 principals yesterday unanimously approved a bylaw amendment that allows its three-tiered league to pursue a merger with six football programs from the Washington area's Interstate Athletic Conference.

Since the move pertains only to football, a change was required in a bylaw that prevented schools from joining the MIAA for only one sport.

The initial policy would allow the IAC teams to merge for a trial basis during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, after which the union "would again be reviewed by the school heads and athletic directors after the 2006 season," said MIAA director Rick Diggs.

The MIAA's three football conferences are comprised of A and B conferences, each with five teams, and the seven-team C Conference. At least two of the six new schools would be required to play in the A Conference, Diggs said. The IAC is comprised of Bullis Prep, Landon Prep and Georgetown Prep of Montgomery County; Episcopal and St. Stephens/St. Agnes of Alexandria, Va.; and Washington's St. Albans.

"I absolutely feel that this may be the best solution we have seen since the organization formed 10 years ago. School heads, MIAA administrators and athletic directors have made very little progress in the past in achieving competitive balance and resolving scheduling problems," Diggs said.

"Not only would the addition of these six schools be a viable solution for the scheduling dilemmas experienced by both organizations," Diggs added, "but I feel it would create natural rivalries with the schools who have already developed relationships in other sports such as lacrosse, baseball and basketball."

St. Stephens/St. Agnes athletic director Gary Schnell and principal Joan Holden are the IAC's league chairman and chairman of principals, respectively. Schnell has told Diggs that IAC coaches and athletic directors favor the plan.

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