STEVENS POINT — For the past two months there has been a lot of talk about implementing a 1.65 multiplier to private schools for postseason placement in all sports, and Wednesday the vote was to take place at the WIAA annual meeting.
If it passed, many private schools would move up one division as their enrollment would be multiplied by 1.65.
However, when the voting was finished there wasn’t a “yes” or “no” winner. The vote that was taken was to form an Ad-Hoc committee that will take the next 12 months to further study the situation and see if anything needs to be done.
"I think reasonable-minded, fair-minded people came to the conclusion that it just needs more discussion,” Notre Dame president Bob Pauly said. “It's a very complex topic, it's one that needs maybe half a year to a year of deliberation and discourse and I think we'll come up with a result that's fair to the majority of the schools, so we're very pleased. I think this is the right thing."
A big reason why the multiplier was sent to committee is because it came to the state’s attention so late. The Six Rivers Conference sent out a petition to get the multiplier vote on the annual meeting’s agenda and it got the necessary 10 percent of signatures.
"I think it got put on the agenda late and I think people just want more discussion from amongst themselves as well within a committee to have better direction," Kimberly athletics director Ryan McGinnis said.
The vote to go to committee was 352-77. There wasn't any friction with member schools and some felt maybe the Six Rivers Conference just wanted its concern heard, which could lead to a discussion.
Barneveld superintendent Kevin Knudson said during the open forum period that, “We don’t believe the 1.65 is the right answer. I think it’s more of an urban-rural (situation).”
"This really wasn't us versus them like it is in the political arena, it just turned out to be a situation where people needed to get a platform to get down to a table and talk to each other," Pauly said.
There will be no multiplier next school year, but with this being discussed is a multiplier inevitable?
"I don't know,” WIAA Board of Control president Dean Sanders said. “States have went with them and states have went away from them. Will we have a multiplier? I don't know, but it'll be part of the conversation all the way through."
The committee will likely be formed by May and by the start of September it will present member schools at area meetings with whatever progress has been made. Then in December, a more finished product will be discussed and by next year’s annual meeting there could be a multiplier to vote on.
"My pulse on it is something will happen,” McGinnis said. “I just think it's a matter of what's going to happen and how it's going to be packaged."
So for now there is no multiplier, just like it's always been.
- Also voted on was making member schools responsible for conference realignment, taking it out of the WIAA's hands. This vote failed by a vote of 400-26, so realignment will remain in the WIAA's hands.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay