(2-13-18) – Why was Trotwood-Madison left out of the mix in the formation of a new conference? Was it enrollment, success or racial bias?
Troy Superintendent Eric Herman at last night’s Board of Education meeting told board members:
“At this point, nothing has officially been decided on a withdrawal from the GWOC. We’re still in it, and will be — there’s a process that needs followed in order to do that.”
The first part of the process is the withdrawal, a formal letter will to be sent to the GWOC Commissioner by March 31st. Each GWOC member that decides to leave will have a two-year wait before the new conference would become active.
Enrollment of GWOC Members Looking To Leave
Boys Girls Troy 513 528 Xenia 508 476 Stebbins 463 473 Fairborn 440 413 Sidney 421 379 Vandalia-Butler 385 356 Piqua 381 406 West Carrollton 354 382 Greenville 315 319 Tippecanoe 296 274 Left out - Trotwood-Madison 361 320
In a Troy Daily News story Herman talked about members enrollments:
“The student enrollment gap has grown between schools. That alone has caused some scheduling issues. Sometimes the numbers change — if somebody builds, and you add 50 to 100 kids, it can make a big difference.”
Looking at the enrollment numbers of those schools looking to leave shows an interesting item that has become an issue.
The boys enrollment range has the largest school being Troy with a 513 and Tippecanoe with 296 representing the smallest enrollment. The girls enrollment range again has Troy at the top with 528, while Tippecanoe is the smallest with 274.
Trotwood-Madison, which was left out of the mix by the 10 members wanting to leave, would have been the 8th (out of 11) smallest boys enrollment and would be 9th smallest on the girls side. Leading officials at Trotwood-Madison wondering why they were left out of this process.
Trotwood-Madison School Superintendent Kevin Bell told the Dayton Daily News:
“At this point, we just want the answer to the question why have the 10 schools that have decided to leave the GWOC. Why are they forming a league of their own? Why isn’t Trotwood invited to be part of their (new) league?
What was part of that decision-making process? How did they ultimately arrive there? Why wasn’t Trotwood even part of the conversation or even thought of as being one of the contenders to being part of the new league?”
Herman in the same Troy Daily News story might have answered the question Superintendent Bell was asking:
“Success in athletics helps to create a positive climate within the community. When you’re losing and not having success, it does reflect in the community. Some schools in the league haven’t won very many games in the last few years. We’d like to be able to change that.”
Bell didn’t know if the Ram’s success was the reason for being left out of the formation of the new conference.
“I don’t want to speculate. I would like for those individuals to step forward and give their reasoning. Maybe that is part of what underlies in why they made the decision to exit the GWOC and have a league of their own. Maybe they for a chance to get to a state semifinal and Trotwood gets in the way of doing that.”
Bell when asked about racial bias being brought up earlier by some of his school district officials :
“Ultimately, there are some concerns as far as racial makeup because Trotwood-Madison is predominantly an African-American school. Did that have something to do with it? If you look at the demographics, it makes one ask some questions.”
Trotwood-Madison is not the first school in the Southwest District to feel it has been left ‘out in the cold’ based on racial make-up of its school. The other was Winston Woods, who was a member at the the time (2011) in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference, who was not invited to join the Eastern Cincinnati Conference after seven FAVC members left to create the ECC.
In a 2011 Fox Now article Winston Woods assistant principal David Lumpkin:
“Going through the process, looking at the demographics, she ( Principal Dr. Terri Holden) can’t come up with any other solution than it is race.”
Many super-sized conferences have seen this kind of mass changes in conference make-ups, it is easier to leave as a large group and realign with member schools who meet the qualifications you are looking for and all agree on, then expect change from within. It also allows those members to leave out a school or schools that does not meet those needs without having to give them the ‘boot’.
This change does not just leave out Trotwood-Madison, it also leaves out 10 other schools. The assumption is those schools will want to add the Rams to make it 10 members, but nothing at this time is a sure thing. The Rams would face a ‘large’ deficit in enrollment numbers, easily the smallest of all the schools..
Enrollment of GWOC Remaining
Boys Girls Beavercreek 1,009 884 Centerville 1,024 1,006 Fairmont 919 821 Springfield 818 809 Springboro 731 754 Wayne 723 632 Lebanon 698 666 Miamisburg 627 612 Northmont 659 588 Left out - Trotwood-Madison 361 320
The other possibility is that had the 10 schools leaving the conference had invited the Rams to consider membership, it would have been the 11th member and that would be a football scheduling ‘nightmare’ for a conference. But one sure thing, Trotwood-Madison was unaware of what was going on ‘behind closed doors’.