How do they classify PA high schools if they're private, like a Catholic school?

Op2

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I mean, for public schools they go by enrollment, as in, who happens to live in the district, right? But private schools are different since they can pick and choose who they take. And I've heard they basically recruit good athletes to play for them. I'm seeing a Catholic school that is killing the other small schools and it doesn't look fair that they're in the same division. They have huge player and 12 assistant coaches and one of their out of conference games was against a 6A school and they only lost by 7 points, their only loss all year. They should make private schools play each other in their own separate class.
 

sss

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That's how it used to be and still is in many other states. District 12 (Philly private schools) has basically taken over Eastern PA football since they allowed them in the PIAA. Their supporters will tell you "boundary restrictions" are only one factor in making a good football team. They also pay for bigger staffs and higher salaries. All in the name of religion and education of course.
 

Psugo823

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That's how it used to be and still is in many other states. District 12 (Philly private schools) has basically taken over Eastern PA football since they allowed them in the PIAA. Their supporters will tell you "boundary restrictions" are only one factor in making a good football team. They also pay for bigger staffs and higher salaries. All in the name of religion and education of course.
The PIAA is the most crooked organization in high school sports, probably in all the nation. No, I'm not exaggerating or joking.
 

bison13

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It is ridiculous. Especially since many of them compete at the 1a and 2a level. I remember back when I was in high school we had a solid basketball team my senior year but couldn’t make the wpial final four because it was Duquesne and three private schools.

Down here in Maryland they do not allow privates to be in the state playoffs with the publics. Otherwise schools like the dematha would win everything
 

AWS1022

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The problem is most private schools don’t recruit and don’t have the money to pay huge staffs and nice facilities. For every one big powerhouse private school you have multiple small private schools that have a hard time competing with small public schools.
 
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bison13

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The problem is most private schools don’t recruit and don’t have the money to pay huge staffs and nice facilities. For every one big powerhouse private school you have multiple small private schools that have a hard time competing with small public schools.
classify the privates too then. MD has an A, B and C level for privates.

I dont know a single private in PA or MD that doesnt recruit, no matter the size.
 
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AWS1022

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classify the privates too then. MD has an A, B and C level for privates.

I dont know a single private in PA or MD that doesnt recruit, no matter the size.
I grew up in Erie and there was only one (out of many) that recruited. In the other two states I’ve lived in there is one school in each state that recruits (out of a lot more). I’ve seen more public schools recruit than private schools.
 

creamery

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I grew up in Erie and there was only one (out of many) that recruited. In the other two states I’ve lived in there is one school in each state that recruits (out of a lot more). I’ve seen more public schools recruit than private schools.
But that’s not the case in PA. How many good athletes from Erie McDowell go to Erie Prep. And it’s worse in Pittsburgh area and terrible in Philly with the private/catholic schools. I wanted to see it work with everyone playing for 1 state title but it’s a mess and grossly unfair to the public schools. That’s not complaining it’s the truth. There needs to be 2 divisions now and PIAA admin needs to wake up to this. Some public schools in the WPIAL talked about seceding a few years ago and I wish they would. That would get the ball rolling.
 
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AWS1022

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But that’s not the case in PA. How many good athletes from Erie McDowell go to Erie Prep. And it’s worse in Pittsburgh area and terrible in Philly with the private/catholic schools. I wanted to see it work with everyone playing for 1 state title but it’s a mess and grossly unfair to the public schools. That’s not complaining it’s the truth. There needs to be 2 divisions now and PIAA admin needs to wake up to this. Some public schools in the WPIAL talked about seceding a few years ago and I wish they would. That would get the ball rolling.
But it is the case in PA…your example in Erie is again one school, Prep, recruiting…but the rest of the private schools in the county don’t recruit and don’t have the money Prep has to build huge athletic programs. At least a school like McDowell can compete with Prep, the other privates never will be able to.
 

The Spin Meister

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An altered state
I mean, for public schools they go by enrollment, as in, who happens to live in the district, right? But private schools are different since they can pick and choose who they take. And I've heard they basically recruit good athletes to play for them. I'm seeing a Catholic school that is killing the other small schools and it doesn't look fair that they're in the same division. They have huge player and 12 assistant coaches and one of their out of conference games was against a 6A school and they only lost by 7 points, their only loss all year. They should make private schools play each other in their own separate class.
The classification for boys sports is determined by how many boys are in the top three classes....or may be four....not 100% sure. They redo it it every two or three years. Same for Catholic schools.....I think.

After much complaints and a few lawsuit’s they added a new twist about 6-7 years ago. If you win your division and go deep into the playoffs two or more years in a row they move you up a classification. Win two in a row again and they will move you up another classification. So if a school recruits and consistently wins they will be moved up.

Creates some other problems though. Aliquippa....a very poor public school.... has long been a powerhouse in all sports at the top classifications. But after the steel mills closed their enrollment dropped so much that it could be a single A school. Yet they kept winning while playing AA. Got moved to AAA.....and won again. Moved up to AAAA......and won again. They were moved up to AAAAA but filed a lawsuit against going that high and won so they are still playing AAAA


And Aliquippa is undefeated again and won last night’s playoff game 41-7 to make the WPIAL finals....again.
 
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creamery

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But it is the case in PA…your example in Erie is again one school, Prep, recruiting…but the rest of the private schools in the county don’t recruit and don’t have the money Prep has to build huge athletic programs. At least a school like McDowell can compete with Prep, the other privates never will be able to.
We’ll let’s not use just one small section of the state then as our litmus test (with all due respect to Erie). Come to Northeast Philly where the largest number of public and privates exist in the state and the recruiting is a major problem. Same can be said for Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Allentown as well.
But it is the case in PA…your example in Erie is again one school, Prep, recruiting…but the rest of the private schools in the county don’t recruit and don’t have the money Prep has to build huge athletic programs. At least a school like McDowell can compete with Prep, the other privates never will be able to.
So let’s not use 1 small sector (in regards to number of schools) of the state as our litmus test (with all due respect to Erie). Take the southeastern pa area which has the largest combination of public and private schools in the state Recruiting is a major problem for public schools to compete with. Same with Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Allentown. So given my points, why not set up separate state championship divisions?
 
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AWS1022

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We’ll let’s not use just one small section of the state then as our litmus test (with all due respect to Erie). Come to Northeast Philly where the largest number of public and privates exist in the state and the recruiting is a major problem. Same can be said for Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Allentown as well.

So let’s not use 1 small sector (in regards to number of schools) of the state as our litmus test (with all due respect to Erie). Take the southeastern pa area which has the largest combination of public and private schools in the state Recruiting is a major problem for public schools to compete with. Same with Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Allentown. So given my points, why not set up separate state championship divisions?
So you set up a separate private school division where almost no school has a chance to compete compared to now where at least the larger public schools at least have a shot at competing. And if the private schools are going to get penalized for recruiting, what is going to be done about the public schools that recruit even more?
 

bison13

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So you set up a separate private school division where almost no school has a chance to compete compared to now where at least the larger public schools at least have a shot at competing. And if the private schools are going to get penalized for recruiting, what is going to be done about the public schools that recruit even more?
What you’re talking about is an anomaly to only that area
 

lurkerlion

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Is Philly in PA? I always thought they were in NJ. Philly kids never knew anything about PA west of Reading.
 

87 Penn St8

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classify the privates too then. MD has an A, B and C level for privates.

I dont know a single private in PA or MD that doesnt recruit, no matter the size.
The high school where I teach lost an offensive lineman to a regional powerhouse a few years ago. Kid was a junior having a great year, had a big game against a traditional powerhouse.

Later that week he got a call at home from an "alum" from said Catholic school offering "tuition assistance" and a chance to reclassify so he could repeat his junior year.

I was his teacher recommendation to their Admissions officer which was both a form and a phone call interview. All of this was done on the down low. My loyalty is to my students over the school, but that while situation was exactly what some say doesn't happen.

It happens. Kid ended up on a team with numerous D l recruits including a big PSU "athlete" commit who chose to play baseball (hint, hint). My guy had some lower Dl interest but ended up playing l-AA.
 
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87 Penn St8

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The high school where I teach lost an offensive lineman to a regional powerhouse a few years ago. Kid was a junior having a great year, had a big game against a traditional powerhouse.

Later that week he got a call at home from an "alum" from said Catholic school offering "tuition assistance" and a chance to reclassify so he could repeat his junior year.

I was his teacher recommendation to their Admissions officer which was both a form and a phone call interview. All of this was done on the down low. My loyalty is to my students over the school, but that while situation was exactly what some say doesn't happen.

It happens. Kid ended up on a team with numerous D l recruits including a big PSU "athlete" commit who chose to play baseball (hint, hint). My guy had some lower Dl interest but ended up playing l-AA.
Thos particular school does not participate in the state playoffs, but I'm sure this type of stuff happens for at least some who do...
 

sss

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So you set up a separate private school division where almost no school has a chance to compete compared to now where at least the larger public schools at least have a shot at competing. And if the private schools are going to get penalized for recruiting, what is going to be done about the public schools that recruit even more?
There is a process for dealing with public schools and recruiting. I have seen several times where a public school player has been denied the ability to play at their new school. I think I recall this happening with Gronk when transferred to a school in western PA from NY. A school in my area had a player who was not able to play in the playoffs this year, but was able to play in the regular season because of a preseason transfer. Not sure what rule that is, but it was a rule. I have never heard of a private/catholic school kid held out of play for transfer. Of course, there will always be exceptions where kids will transfer in public schools and manage to "skirt" the rules, but there is a process in place for one set of schools.
 

AWS1022

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There is a process for dealing with public schools and recruiting. I have seen several times where a public school player has been denied the ability to play at their new school. I think I recall this happening with Gronk when transferred to a school in western PA from NY. A school in my area had a player who was not able to play in the playoffs this year, but was able to play in the regular season because of a preseason transfer. Not sure what rule that is, but it was a rule. I have never heard of a private/catholic school kid held out of play for transfer. Of course, there will always be exceptions where kids will transfer in public schools and manage to "skirt" the rules, but there is a process in place for one set of schools.
I haven’t lived in PA in years, but I will say that same process is in place for private schools in the other states I lived. And it was only enforced for the private schools, kids “moved” all the time to go play for another public school. How do you think so many of these public schools build dynasties. In a public school you’re only as good as the players you get to come out for the team. Realistically, a school should get a really good class of athletes every so many years. But certain schools mysteriously get loaded classes year after year….that doesn’t happen by accident. My son was recruited by a few public schools for baseball, but never a private school. I was told not to worry about the boundary requirements, they had ways around it. He never changed schools, but he could have. That stuff happens all the time for public schools.
 

Online Persona

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PA should put the private schools in their own classification. Beyond competitiveness, it's a definite safety issue.

Like I said before, I am aware of multiple concussion issues (including a captain from one team that it ended his HS football career) for the small schools forced to lose by 60 or 70 to bishop Mcdevitt. Not one of these schools players would start on Mcdevitt and maybe 1 or 2 would have a chance to be on their 2 deep which doesn't come in until maybe the last drive or 2 the way Mcdevitt is coached.
 

AWS1022

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PA should put the private schools in their own classification. Beyond competitiveness, it's a definite safety issue.

Like I said before, I am aware of multiple concussion issues (including a captain from one team that it ended his HS football career) for the small schools forced to lose by 60 or 70 to bishop Mcdevitt. Not one of these schools players would start on Mcdevitt and maybe 1 or 2 would have a chance to be on their 2 deep which doesn't come in until maybe the last drive or 2 the way Mcdevitt is coached.
That would likely work if they went back to three classifications instead of six. Three classes for public schools and three for private would be a possibility, but then you’d have smaller public schools bitching that they don’t have a fair shot against the bigger schools in their class.
 

sss

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I haven’t lived in PA in years, but I will say that same process is in place for private schools in the other states I lived. And it was only enforced for the private schools, kids “moved” all the time to go play for another public school. How do you think so many of these public schools build dynasties. In a public school you’re only as good as the players you get to come out for the team. Realistically, a school should get a really good class of athletes every so many years. But certain schools mysteriously get loaded classes year after year….that doesn’t happen by accident. My son was recruited by a few public schools for baseball, but never a private school. I was told not to worry about the boundary requirements, they had ways around it. He never changed schools, but he could have. That stuff happens all the time for public schools.
Well, I have no idea what state you are talking about. This was originally about PA football. And I can assure you there is no transfer rule in place for the privates/catholics in PA. There is a rule in place for the publics. You can argue about how well it gets enforced, but I have seen it enforced at times (including the example I saw this year in our area). One school in Philly occasionally has players from DE and NJ. Think about that, we have had players from different states (current address) winning a PIAA title.
 
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AWS1022

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Well, I have no idea what state you are talking about. This was originally about PA football. And I can assure you there is no transfer rule in place for the privates/catholics in PA. There is a rule in place for the publics. You can argue about how well it gets enforced, but I have seen it enforced at times (including the example I saw this year in our area). One school in Philly occasionally has players from DE and NJ. Think about that, we have had players from different states (current address) winning a PIAA title.
My son’s rival school had multiple players from another state and that was a public school. I’m not sure how to make it fair, but I don’t think it can be done. There will always be schools that feel the rules aren’t fair.
 

AWS1022

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some do it a lot

most do it very little or not at all

it's the go-to excuse whenever a large public school loses a game to a private school. in many cases they just got outplayed and out coached
And public schools recruit as much or more than private schools, but that doesn’t get factored into the argument.
 
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AWS1022

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a lot of it is sour grapes

i remember when i was in HS in pa, at a Catholic school, and the girl's basketball team had a an upset over a AAAA school. huge uproar about recruiting from the opposing school. but everyone on the team had been in catholic school since elementary school. so if they were recruited it would have been in preschool. there was no recruiting going on they just didn't go to public school
Same thing for me. I went to a Catholic school in PA and we never recruited at all. The school would have recruited for their performing arts department before they recruited for athletics.
 

The Spin Meister

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An altered state
PA should put the private schools in their own classification. Beyond competitiveness, it's a definite safety issue.

Like I said before, I am aware of multiple concussion issues (including a captain from one team that it ended his HS football career) for the small schools forced to lose by 60 or 70 to bishop Mcdevitt. Not one of these schools players would start on Mcdevitt and maybe 1 or 2 would have a chance to be on their 2 deep which doesn't come in until maybe the last drive or 2 the way Mcdevitt is coached.
There aren’t enough Catholic schools to have separate classifications. Maybe Philly could have a league but not statewide.
 

The Spin Meister

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An altered state
I haven’t lived in PA in years, but I will say that same process is in place for private schools in the other states I lived. And it was only enforced for the private schools, kids “moved” all the time to go play for another public school. How do you think so many of these public schools build dynasties. In a public school you’re only as good as the players you get to come out for the team. Realistically, a school should get a really good class of athletes every so many years. But certain schools mysteriously get loaded classes year after year….that doesn’t happen by accident. My son was recruited by a few public schools for baseball, but never a private school. I was told not to worry about the boundary requirements, they had ways around it. He never changed schools, but he could have. That stuff happens all the time for public schools.
Two schools in W Pa come to mind. Aliquippa and Clairton. Both have been accused of recruiting for years. But it is complicated. There are lots of poor, single parent homes raising kids. Often that single parent has issues...drug abuse, criminal, mental. Common in poor communities black and white. So the kid that is a good athlete says he needs to move to a good home.....grandparents, uncle, older brother or sister. Thye just happen to live in Aliquippa where there is a great coach and a great tradition.of winning.

So was the kid recruited? Or did he look at his options of various relatives and pick the one where he could be in a good program? And if the new home is better and more stable offering a better chance of a good life, who can deny it?
 

Obliviax

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St Ignatius in Cleveland has kids from all over the area and housing for them near campus


Several years ago the state had a lower class powerhouse named CAPE in cincy. CAPE stood for cincy academy for physical education. 9th graders opting to be physical Ed majors, I guess. The state shut it down after a few years


Finally I know a lawyer that prosecuted Massillon for recruiting. The school got penalized but the guys had to move he and his wife out of the area due to threats
 

Psugo823

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I mean, for public schools they go by enrollment, as in, who happens to live in the district, right? But private schools are different since they can pick and choose who they take. And I've heard they basically recruit good athletes to play for them. I'm seeing a Catholic school that is killing the other small schools and it doesn't look fair that they're in the same division. They have huge player and 12 assistant coaches and one of their out of conference games was against a 6A school and they only lost by 7 points, their only loss all year. They should make private schools play each other in their own separate class.
They don't. They let them cheat. Every other state puts them in classifications with each other to keep them separate. Not the crooked piaa though, here in Pennsylvania cheating is both legal and rewarding.
 

Online Persona

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There aren’t enough Catholic schools to have separate classifications. Maybe Philly could have a league but not statewide.
Than catholic schools shouldn't be classified by their enrollments. It is a safety issue for the public schools they play. Put the catholic schools in 6A only or make central PA catholic schools travel to Philly every other week if they want to recruit. But it is a legitimate safety issue to let a team recruiting even out of state players beat up on 4A or 5A schools.

And how does winner by 60 or 70 every week make it a sport? I hope some of the injured players sue the catholic schools and PIAA. They have created a dangerous situation.
 

AWS1022

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Two schools in W Pa come to mind. Aliquippa and Clairton. Both have been accused of recruiting for years. But it is complicated. There are lots of poor, single parent homes raising kids. Often that single parent has issues...drug abuse, criminal, mental. Common in poor communities black and white. So the kid that is a good athlete says he needs to move to a good home.....grandparents, uncle, older brother or sister. Thye just happen to live in Aliquippa where there is a great coach and a great tradition.of winning.

So was the kid recruited? Or did he look at his options of various relatives and pick the one where he could be in a good program? And if the new home is better and more stable offering a better chance of a good life, who can deny it?
Couldn’t the same be said about the kid if he went to a private school? And even more so because he would often be getting a better education as well.
 

AWS1022

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They don't. They let them cheat. Every other state puts them in classifications with each other to keep them separate. Not the crooked piaa though, here in Pennsylvania cheating is both legal and rewarding.
They don’t get put into their own classification in any of the three states I’ve lived, so it’s not every other state.
 

AWS1022

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Than catholic schools shouldn't be classified by their enrollments. It is a safety issue for the public schools they play. Put the catholic schools in 6A only or make central PA catholic schools travel to Philly every other week if they want to recruit. But it is a legitimate safety issue to let a team recruiting even out of state players beat up on 4A or 5A schools.

And how does winner by 60 or 70 every week make it a sport? I hope some of the injured players sue the catholic schools and PIAA. They have created a dangerous situation.
So a 1A private school that doesn’t recruit is supposed to play 6A schools and you’re worried about safety issues?
 

Online Persona

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So a 1A private school that doesn’t recruit is supposed to play 6A schools and you’re worried about safety issues?
Allow them to maintain classification by enrollment unless evidence of recruitment surfaces. Recruiting results in 10 years at 6A classification.

The problem with the catholic schools is not some rinky dink school that supports your red herring. It's the Mcdevitts that have an entire team of recruited athletes. There is ample evidence of recruiting there and they would be forced to actually play against competition that isn't at a huge safety risk.

My nephew's school had multiple injuries in their 70 point loss to Mcdevitt a couple of years ago and the one captain of his team was knocked out of school for weeks with very serious concussion problems. That kid never played HS football or any sport again.

And it isn't just my nephew's team that year. It's nearly every team in their division every year losing by 60 to 70 and kids sustaining injuries they otherwise wouldn't if the field was level. As a catholic, it makes us look like horrible, blood thirsty, win at all cost and damn anyone in our way people.

How is that consistent with a catholic education and how is that good for anyone including the Mcdevitt kids that won't get serious D1 looks because you cannot evaluate a qb with 10 seconds to throw to receivers open by 10 yards every time or a RB that runs through holes 5 yards wide.

Catholic schools are essentially hiring mercenaries to beat up on the local kids. The entire league that Mcdevitt plays in might have a handful of kids that would be on their 2 deep and their coach refuses to put in their backups up 60 points until the final possession or so.
 
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Parkland Fan

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So a 1A private school that doesn’t recruit is supposed to play 6A schools and you’re worried about safety issues?
Just to pour a little gas on this fire, two District 11 teams will play teams from District 12 again this year in the first round of PA's playoffs. Both are known for recruiting.

Parkland (6A classification) plays St. Joe's who has beaten the District 11 team 7 times since 2013, including Parkland in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Talk about a tough draw!

Whitehall (5A) plays Imhotep who has also eliminated 7 District 11 champs.

Then again, Allentown Central Catholic, who used to be known for recruiting, beat undefeated Jersey Shore on Friday.

I am not sure how to fix the private vs. public issue, but the current system isn't ideal.
 
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sss

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some do it a lot

most do it very little or not at all

it's the go-to excuse whenever a large public school loses a game to a private school. in many cases they just got outplayed and out coached
Same reason Villanova loses to PSU. Outcoached and outplayed.
 

AWS1022

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Allow them to maintain classification by enrollment unless evidence of recruitment surfaces. Recruiting results in 10 years at 6A classification.

The problem with the catholic schools is not some rinky dink school that supports your red herring. It's the Mcdevitts that have an entire team of recruited athletes. There is ample evidence of recruiting there and they would be forced to actually play against competition that isn't at a huge safety risk.

My nephew's school had multiple injuries in their 70 point loss to Mcdevitt a couple of years ago and the one captain of his team was knocked out of school for weeks with very serious concussion problems. That kid never played HS football or any sport again.

And it isn't just my nephew's team that year. It's nearly every team in their division every year losing by 60 to 70 and kids sustaining injuries they otherwise wouldn't if the field was level. As a catholic, it makes us look like horrible, blood thirsty, win at all cost and damn anyone in our way people.

How is that consistent with a catholic education and how is that good for anyone including the Mcdevitt kids that won't get serious D1 looks because you cannot evaluate a qb with 10 seconds to throw to receivers open by 10 yards every time or a RB that runs through holes 5 yards wide.

Catholic schools are essentially hiring mercenaries to beat up on the local kids. The entire league that Mcdevitt plays in might have a handful of kids that would be on their 2 deep and their coach refuses to put in their backups up 60 points until the final possession or so.
I get it… there’s a problem with some of the private schools, but there isn’t with many of them. So the trick is to not punish the many because of what the few are doing. And it would take evidence of actual recruiting, not just fans and parents of public schools accusing them of it. And then they would have to address the recruiting being done by public schools as well.
 

Online Persona

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I get it… there’s a problem with some of the private schools, but there isn’t with many of them. So the trick is to not punish the many because of what the few are doing. And it would take evidence of actual recruiting, not just fans and parents of public schools accusing them of it. And then they would have to address the recruiting being done by public schools as well.
I think all you need to do is look at the number of kids who previously were in other school districts relative to the non-athlete student body. If there are way more athletes transferring in with a class than there are non-athletes then they are recruiting and their offending programs go to 6A qualification for the next decade.
 
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bison13

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I get it… there’s a problem with some of the private schools, but there isn’t with many of them. So the trick is to not punish the many because of what the few are doing. And it would take evidence of actual recruiting, not just fans and parents of public schools accusing them of it. And then they would have to address the recruiting being done by public schools as well.
You talked about what goes on around Erie but you must not get out much other than that. As someone who has coached in Pennsylvania and Maryland I’ve been successful to the point where I’ve Coached in state championship games in basketball and baseball in both places I can tell you that the amount of private schools that actively recruit is over 90%. I could go to a youth league tournament on a Saturday in Pittsburgh and count a dozen private schools they’re talking to every 13 year old that they want to play for their school. Go watch a Beaver Valley red or black team in baseball and they’ll have five different private school coaches come to a midweek scrimmage.

As bad as that is it’s 10 times worse in the Philly suburbs. There are kids from Delaware New Jersey and Maryland playing for some of the Philly private schools. I took my high school basketball team from Maryland up to play in a summer showcase at Widener and in between games there were at least three private school coaches talking to my players. as a high school coach I have to go to these tournaments to watch my middle schoolers who should be coming to me just to ward off the private school coaches. I’m not even talking about the elite private schools like Dematha St. John’s or Gonzaga I’m saying even the B or c level teams that want to come and get kids who I will probably cut
 
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