Changes Made To Conference Football Speaker Lineup
The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) announced Thursday it is making changes in the 18th annual Summer Conference line-up of speakers set to address football coaches next week.
The NCAA passed legislation last October that prohibited Division I college head and assistant coaches from attending high school all-star football contests. The AHSAA’s interpretation of the ruling was that it affected only the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game, and not the AHSAA Summer Conference where professional development is the primary focus and all-star games are stand-alone events.
Upon learning that the NCAA legislation also applied to the Summer Conference, Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) Director Alvin Briggs and AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese appealed to the NCAA for a waiver for this year’s conference. The appeal was based on the grounds that the Summer Conference is a separate event, where coaches attend outstanding professional development sessions to learn more about the latest coaching techniques and the most up-to-date health and safety concerns.
The appeal was denied.
“We are very disappointed,” Briggs said. “It’s unfortunate that our Division I coaches will not be able to attend but we will have great replacements this year and will continue to have outstanding conferences for years to come.”
“We are turning to Division II and junior college coaches to step in as well as some outstanding retired college coaches who are also now available. However, it is very disappointing that our high school coaches won’t be receiving professional development instruction at our conference from some of the nation’s best current college coaches.”
Briggs said the football portion of the Summer Conference begins Wednesday.
The legislation affects Division I football coaches attending high school conferences that include high school all-star football games.
“We hope that as the NCAA membership evaluates future state association sponsored professional development conferences that contain all-star game components, priority consideration will be given to the educational emphasis the state high school associations place on such events,” Savarese said.
The Summer Conference features professional development programs for coaches in 18 of the 24 sports offered by the AHSAA including basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, wrestling, track and field, volleyball and cheerleading.
The Summer Conference, expected to be attended by more than 5,000 coaches and administrators, opens Tuesday and runs through Friday, July 25, at the Renaissance Montgomery Convention Center.