A plan to dramatically shift the landscape of high school football in South Carolina was put on hold Tuesday by the S.C. High School League, as an alternative proposal presented by Conway coach Chuck Jordan forced the SCHSL to delay its decision.
The executive committee originally met in order to decide whether to move forward with a five-classification system strictly for the state's football teams, as outlined in an email by SCHSL commissioner Jerome Singleton last month. Jordan's plan, however, presented the league with an alternative option that would instead shift the state's schools into three classifications across all sports.
South Carolina currently features four classifications with two divisions in all but 3-A.
"My request to the executive committee was to delay a decision until the next meeting so we could put this three classification proposal in front of (people) before they made a vote," Jordan said.
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The coach's proposal would split each class into two divisions, giving each sport six total state champions. The reclassification would call for three 68-team classes with regions ranging from six to 10 teams, according to The Sun News.
Jordan's goal was similar to that of the initial proposal, which featured five 40-team divisions in the hopes of eliminating the state's seven football state championships, largely considered to be too many by the majority of state coaches. The plan also called for the elimination of playoff byes in Class 2-A and the ability of teams with losing records to reach the postseason.
"A lot of people feel like we have too many state champions in football," Jordan said. "(Our plan) awards two state champions in all sports. We tried to put everybody on the same playing field.
" ... We've got a lot of different ways to qualify for playoffs with point systems, etc. We've tried to develop a statewide system that will be consistent from one classification to the next."
Jordan and his cohorts will spend the next several months presenting state coaches with the latest proposal before it comes up at the next scheduled executive committee meeting in April. That could be enough time to change the minds of those who have already helped the five classification system gain popularity since its inception.
"I think you have some that agreed and some that didn't," Jordan said of the football-only proposal. "I think it just depended on how it affected the different schools. Personally, I liked it and how it affected Conway High School. But it affected other people differently.
"At this point, it would be presumptuous to say that people around the state like the three-class proposal because we haven't had an opportunity to put it out in front of everybody. Until we do that, we really won't know."