Class 5A again dominated by private schools Print

As another year comes to a close, 27 of the 32 Class 5A schools can look back at another year of inequity in competing at the highest level.

Schools that have selective enrollment, private schools, dominated not only the championships in the classification but those same five schools dominated first, second, third and fourth place finishes as well (see graphic below).

In a  report issued to study the disparity, the Kansas State High School Activities Association indicated that the difference was more about the school’s approaches in support and coaching rather than the way the student-athletes are selected.

If that is true, then being Catholic definitely has a divine hand in the ability to coach and nurture athletes.

Most of the state would disagree with that assessment, but even if the outrageous claim were true, it indicates that being Catholic fans and coaches provides a competitive advantage, if not the athletes themselves.

This isn’t the fault of Catholics, but a system that allows for a concentration of any group to compete against others that are restricted from doing the same is unfair.

Private schools make up only 16 percent of Class 5A, but those schools win 69 percent of the championships. That means 84 percent of the public schools only earn 31 percent of the titles.

But the uneven playing field extends beyond first place.

When measuring the top four finalists, these five private schools continue to dominate.

On the boys side of only Class 5A sports that have been completed, five private schools take up 53 percent of the top four finalist positions.

It is even worse on the girls side. Private schools accounted for 70 percent of the top four positions in all sports.

No statistical measurement shows parity in any way, leaving the difference between open public enrollment and selective private enrollment to be the only measurable difference that leads to the inequity among schools.

Many schools have top-notch coaches and superb community support, but they lack the ability to go outside pre-determined district lines to attract student-athletes.

That is exactly what the private schools are allowed to do, and the mountain of evidence continues to be ignored by KSHSAA, making the 27 public schools in Class 5A compete in an unfair environment.

They all strive hard, and schools have up years and down years. But the consistent domination in the top four spots that exists in Class 5A has been a significant problem for two decades. The evidence is clear.

If you believe allowing some schools to pick their student body is an unfair advantage compared to those who accept all students, let KSHSAA know.

If you believe it is an unfair recruiting advantage for colleges who watch the Class 5A state finals seeing only 16 percent of the schools providing 69 percent of the championship teams, let KSHSAA know.

If you believe the students at 27 public schools are not getting a fair opportunity when student athletes would have attended their schools but instead opted to join others at a private school for a competitive advantage, let KSHSAA know.

Their email address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Executive Director Gary Musselman’s email is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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