Demeatric Crenshaw is a ballerWatch sophomore year highlights from the Pickerington Central quarterback.
Dr. Dan Ross addressed the Ohio High School Athletic Association Media Advisory Committee for the last time as commissioner on May 15. I was among the privileged in attendance.
Originally slated to end his tenure on Sept. 15, Ross officially retired as the man in charge of the OHSAA last Monday (July 9). In a press release, the OHSAA announced assistant commissioner Jerry Snodgrass was assuming executive director duties immediately.
Ross was the leader of Ohio’s prep sports governing body since 2004. He was the ninth OHSAA Commissioner and worked in education for 47 years.
Health problems hindered Ross late in his tenure, causing him to step away from the position for a time in 2015 and 2016. On a national donor list for a heart transplant since June 3, 2016, Ross recently underwent that operation on June 26 at the Cleveland Clinic.
During his term, Ross oversaw many issues and implemented significant change. Below is a look at some items considered major milestones. Notable Feats During Dr. Ross’ Run:* Competitive Balance
For the majority of the last decade, the OHSAA has confronted the issue of public versus private and all the inequalities that accompany the argument. This school year, Competitive Balance
finally made its debut. The process was long. The OHSAA’s initial Competitive Balance Committee was formed in 2010 and the first proposal presented member schools was voted down in 2011. Following additional failed proposals, membership approved the current process in 2014. The formula – based on enrollment numbers and residence – has sparked interest from other states including California, Tennessee and Arizona.
“It’s a really good start, but it’s not perfect,” Ross said. “We’re constantly looking to see if there’s a way to do it better and if so we need to. We have to be flexible.”
Ross called the quest a labor of love. And one designed to keep all schools together in unified postseasons.
Said Ross: “It’s a real strength for our state to have public and private schools in the same tournaments.”* Ohio adds seventh football division
In 2012 the OHSAA passed a motion to expand the football playoffs from six divisions to seven. This created a new Division I designation for the top 10-percent of schools in the state (72 total). This also expanded the state finals weekend from a Friday-Saturday schedule to a Thursday-Saturday schedule. The move has been well received. * Ohio adds bowling and lacrosse as sports
In 2006, the OHSAA board approved boys and girls bowling by a unanimous vote (6-0). They were the first sports added by the OHSAA since girls golf in 1993. The inaugural bowling state championships were held in 2007. Lacrosse – for both boys and girls – was approved in 2015. Its initial championship season was 2017. * Ohio football finals return to Ohio State (and Canton)
Following a 24-year run in Stark County, the OHSAA football state championships moved back to Ohio Stadium in Columbus for the 2014-2016 seasons. The state finals were previously held at Ohio State from 1982-1989. During the finals hiatus from Stark County, Canton’s Fawcett Stadium underwent a facelift and transformed into the new Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The finals returned to Canton in 2017 and are slated to return in 2018. The finals are expected to return to Ohio Stadium for 2019 and 2020. * Wrestling state team tournament
Ohio is one of the country’s top wrestling hotbeds and the OHSAA rewarded the dedicated masses with another opportunity for schools to win a state title. In 2013 the first OHSAA team wrestling state tournament was held inside OSU’s St. John Arena. The tournament is annually held in early February so as to not interfere with the season-ending individual tournament. The event has been housed inside St. John each season, which adds to the intrigue and mystique.* Lindsay’s Law passed by state senate
An advocate for educating students to handle emergency medical situations (often because they and the coaches are the only ones at schools late into the evening), Ross has been a big supporter of the new Lindsay’s Law
, which sets requirements for coaches, players and parents regarding Sudden Cardiac Arrest. All involved in sports (youth, varsity, club, etc.) must now take a standardized education course in order to coach, play or allow a child to play a sport. The OHSAA, in collaboration with the Ohio Departments of Health and Education, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Cardiology, created the educational course, which is the only one authorized for compliance with the new state law.* New seated events contested at state track meet
In 2013 the OHSAA became one of a handful of states to offer wheelchair athletes the opportunity at state titles when it held its inaugural seated state championships at the state track and field meet. Finals were (and are) held in the 100, 400, 800 and shot put. * Tennis finals move to Mason
In 2014 the OHSAA board voted 9-0 to move the state tennis tournament from Ohio State to Mason’s Linder Family Tennis Center, which houses one of the ATP’s top events – the Western and Southern Open. The first finals in Mason were held in 2015. * 2018 transfer bylaw amendment
Passed earlier this year, the new transfer bylaw has sparked plenty of opinions. Following a 2017 approval to make transfer students sit out the first half of the ensuing season at their new school, the new amendment forces transfers to sit out the last half of the regular season and the postseason. The bylaw is another way to combat recruiting and aid competitive balance. * “Four Division Committee”
The OHSAA’s new “Four Division Committee” met most recently less than a month ago on June 21. Why is that important? Because the group is exploring new postseason options/outlines (and classifications?) for sports with four divisions – including basketball (both boys and girls).