Friday, April 22, 2016

Is JA moving to MHSAA?

Jackson Academy might apply for membership to the Mississippi High School Athletics Association.  The Northeast Jackson private school sent out an email to parents that stated it is "studying possible membership" in the MHSAA.  The email states:


JA ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION SURVEY

As we announced in October, Jackson Academy is reviewing membership in our current activities and athletic association, the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), and is studying possible membership in the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA). The Board of Trustees charged us with this review as a part of the ONE Path Forward strategic plan.


In order to fulfill the charge, I formed a task force (listed below) to research and consider the relative merits of the two associations and to make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees of which association best serves our students and mission. The final decision regarding our activities and athletic association membership is a Board decision. The task force includes board members, administrators, coaches, and auxiliary organization current and past presidents. The group includes parents of former, current, and future student athletes, as well as alumni who participated in athletics as students at JA.

The decision of the Board will not have an effect until the 2017-18 school year. We are completing the first year of a two-year alignment cycle with the MAIS. The MHSAA is also in the first year of a two-year classification cycle. The Board's final decision must be made by August of 2016 for alignment and classification for the following school year.

In October, I encouraged our school community to reach out to any member of the task force to share thoughts and views on this issue. Some have expressed their views, and our desire is to hear input from the entire JA community on this important decision. To that end, we have developed a short survey that we hope everyone will take time to complete. Please follow this link, Activities and Athletic Association Survey, and complete the survey by Monday, May 2.

All for One,


Clifton Kling
President


Activities and Athletic Association Task Force Members

Bill Ball, Head Coach, Boys Basketball (Wiggy '25)
Phillip Bowman, Board Member, Class of 1986 (Blaine '18, Wesley '20, Amelia '23)
Robert Gardner, Head Coach, Boys and Girls Soccer, Class of 2003
Peter Jernberg, President Emeritus (Jenny '92)
Cliff Kling, JA President (Ainsley '22, Alise '26)
Mark McDowell, Board Member (Will '14, Ben '16, Kate '19, Rob '19)
Barry McNair, Booster Club Immediate Past President (Kristen '10, Emily '17)
Kristen Nations, JAA President, Class of 1995 (Kennedy '20, Merritt '23)
John Raines, Booster Club President (Suzie '15, John '18)
Renee Rice, Board Member (Anna Love '10, Meg '17)
John Stratton, Booster Club Past President (Malon '17, Reeves '20)
David Sykes, Athletic Director
Pat Taylor, Headmaster
Jody Varner, Board Member (Ashley '13, Will '15)
Ashley Willson, Board Chair, Class of 1987 (Dray '17, Turner '19, Annalee '22)

MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton told JJ that he had not had "any contact" with JA in several months.  He said the organization has one member that was a private school and ten members that were parochial schools.   He said he was not aware of the email. 

114 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would you want to do this? I would recommend attending some of the public school's athletic events and decide if that is what you really want to do... Not the public schools that you cherry pick now to play. I've done that a lot and its not always a pretty sight. If I had to do it again I wouldn't subject my kids to those environments.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the MAIS is that it's so top heavy. But yes JA would probabaly be 3A in the MHSAA. They have about 100 per grade. That would mean they get to participate in athletic events at Yazoo county, Amanda Elzy, Morton high, Cleveland East, Hazelhurst High, and Collins to name a few.

Anonymous said...

I am for the move. We would likely be 3A - not playing JPS schools - and in a similar situation as St. Andrews. I think the kids will develop more when they get out of the MAIS bubble.

PittPanther said...

I'm sure JA is tired of hearing "sure you won the Academy championship, but you couldn't beat a REAL high school."

Kingfish said...

What about extracurricular activities such as band and choir? Would moving to MHSAA change the schools they compete against?

Anonymous said...

9:56. I'm pretty sure the JA kids have developed just fine comparatively speaking.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish - yes. As I understand it, we would have more sports opportunities (swimming, powerlifting, etc.) and more choir/debate/band competitions. However, I was at the school for a show choir competition a few weeks back and there were numerous public schools so we may already have a way to compete in those events without being in the MHSAA.

Anonymous said...

9:56 says,
"the kids will develop more when they get out of the MAIS bubble"

Send your kids to Jackson Prep. We have that new Executive Diversity Officer you seem to need for your kids.

JP and JA already play teams from the MHSAA and do well against 4A and 5A schools. JP has already been through this idea and the fact is that there is no advantage to the students, school or paying families to participate in the MHSAA.

Plus, there are numerous issues with the MHSAA. First being that they do not want private schools in the association, period. If JA does decide, the MHSAA is going to use a modifier for their classification. Public school athletes have to come from their districts. Private schools can pull kids from all over, so public schools want a modifier to balance it. That could put JA in 4A or possibly 5A.

What I don't see in the info posted is the why. What positive does JA get from moving vs the numerous negatives. And dump the PC feel-good bs like "the kids will develop more when they get out of the MAIS bubble"

Anonymous said...

PittPanther,

JA hasn't exactly been winning all of the championships. Both JA and Prep play public schools in football, basketball and baseball. JA won't even schedule local public schools in football, though. They play a Lauderdale county school.


Anonymous said...

Kingfish,

This is an athletic association change. Band (historically treated) is an auxiliary of the football program. Like cheer and dance.

There is no reason for the school to make a change based on band and show choir. They already compete against public schools in competitions all over the country.

This should be an athletic decision.

Kingfish said...

Leave out football although I do realize the world revolves around football. What about smaller sports? Would the school benefit as the smaller private schools simply can't afford some sports?

Anonymous said...

Kingfish-

As a former JA band nerd, I can only remember two or maybe three years that we competed locally. We always went to the Bands of America regional competition in St. Louis and the Bands of America national competition in Indianapolis. The local competitions were usually just practice for those BOA competitions. It didn't really matter who we were competing against in those. I don't know what the JA band program is like today, though.

Kingfish said...

10:35: Understand.

Anonymous said...

God forbid that private schools play public schools. You might have to travel to 'that' side of town to watch a special snowflake play football. It's not like we live in a state that's 38% African-American or something like that.

Grow up. Do away with MAIS all together.

Anonymous said...

KF -- It would not change much in debate. All the tournaments in Mississippi except MHSAA championships allow MAIS schools. I know JA would like to be able to compete for a state championship, since MAIS doesn't offer one.

Anonymous said...

I made the comment about development "out of the bubble" and let me assure you that it has nothing to do with PC. You go watch JA play an 8th grade football game against a some small town private school with 18 players and tell me that anyone is developing. That situation plays itself out over and over with JA and Prep at multiple levels and in multiple sports (although JA has obviously been down the last couple of years). This "bubble" doesn't do anyone any good. Athletes want to compete, they want a challenge, they want to be in the locker room with butterflies before the game wondering if they are going to be able to bring their best against similar competition. They don't want to know that they can halfway play and still win. That does no one any good, and that is the reality of MAIS sports outside of a few teams.

Anonymous said...

11:07. The MAIS has state champions in ever sport via a playoff system. What world are you living in?

Anonymous said...

11:23 -- Read my post. Debate isn't a sport. There is no MAIS debate championship; I know because I coached MHSAA champions the last two years. Post a link or any other evidence to the contrary. Call JA and ask their coach if you need to.

Anonymous said...

If you are a serious competitive swimmer you already don't attend a MAIS school.

Anonymous said...

A year ago, when JA's track coach openly accused (and accurately so) MRA's coaches of recruiting Jr. High boys during the meet and subsequently uninvited MRA to and JA meets and refused to attend any season meets at MRA..... the president of the school said that the MRA issue is one of the main reasons for this idea to move.

The MAIS has turned a blind eye to the fact that MRA has players show up in high school that just happen to be outstanding athletes. Year after year. The MHSAA has even directly complained about MRA recruiting public school athletes and providing for their education in return for their athletic performance.

JA leaving the MAIS has more to do with the dysfunction of the MAIS than any potential positives for the student athletes at JA.

As to the individual with little special Johnny 8th grade footballer. This is about high school sports, not Jr. High sports. In high school, the various sports play public schools quite often, when the seasons match up.

The "bubble" is the one you are living in and only seeing things through Jr High football eyes

Anonymous said...

11:38

Outside of football, I don't know why anyone would attend a school based solely on if they are serious about a particular sport.

These days, nearly all sports are conducted outside the school (for reasons of competition and recruitment). Due to the nature of the public school system nationally, highly competitive teams can't be formed because the players come from a specific geographical area. There are always exceptions, but those exceptions define the rule.

"tournament", "select", "aau", "travel", etc types of sports are where those that are serious about a sport gain their competitive edge.

School ball is about performing for your colors. You have a few prime athletes surrounded by the average player whose last game will be in high school. "Travel ball" is where each team is made of prime players and the competition is just at a higher level. This is why schools are generally not the path to college scholarships, athletically speaking (with exception to football).

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming there's been backchannel communication between JA and MHSAA regarding possible membership. If not, JA would look stupid if they approved the move and MHSAA said "no." As 10:18 noted, the sticking point is going to be modifiers. Amanda Elzy, for example, can only use athletes from Leflore County living outside of Greenwood. With JA, you may have students from Gluckstadt or Richland attending and wanting to participate in sports. It's apples vs. oranges. This is why the Catholic schools left MHSAA. Then-director Ennis Proctor wanted to limit the geographical pool from which they could draw students.

Anonymous said...

I sure would hope that the debate teams tournament opportunities are never mentioned during discussions about whether or not to leave the MAIS.

Buffalo Beal said...

Will all teams be airing up their own balls to the same PSI standard? If not, can the public schools be trusted or does the diversity officer oversee this element of the game? Can we have the Department of Agriculture randomly checking these air pumps? Will everybody be putting certification stickers on their balls. If not, why?

Anonymous said...


WOW! WOW! WOW! Has everyone forgotten why we sent our kids to Jackson Academy---I worked my ass off to keep 3 kids in there---what are you IDIOTS doing. Jackson Academy is located in the first phase of the HOOD---five years from now they will be in phase three which is like the Ellis Avenue area. The JA leaders need to stop all the plans to continue to expand---they need to be looking for a new location rather than worrying about MHSAA.

Anonymous said...

Would be a smart move for JA. The MAIS should exist only for the white segregation academies. Not for legitimate private schools.

Anonymous said...

They are tired of losing to Prep. In the MHSAA at least they will have an excuse for not winning the championship every year since the schools are of equal size.

Anonymous said...

To 12:31 - Didn't JA make the "playoffs" with a losing record last year or the year before that? Right, that's not a "bubble" - that's the REAL WORLD. The league is just pitiful.

Anonymous said...

This is why the Catholic schools left MHSAA.

Wrong. Only some moved. It was a Diocese decision.

Then-director Ennis Proctor wanted to limit the geographical pool from which they could draw students.

Only those students residing in border states.

Amanda Elzy, for example, can only use athletes from Leflore County living outside of Greenwood. With JA, you may have students from Gluckstadt or Richland attending and wanting to participate in sports. It's apples vs. oranges.

Wrong again. MHSAA uses multipliers to level the sports playing field. Please educate yourself ASAP before talking out of your ass.

If Jackson Academy wants into the MHSAA they will be welcome with open arms.

Anonymous said...

1:11

It sounds like you are a bounder.

Anonymous said...

JA should have moved years ago when It could. The leadership listened to the wrong democrat. No way now to get money back from current location. But again what value can one put on human life.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils, which in this case is the MAIS. It's a pretty easy decision actually. My guess is JA would lose students if they went to the MHSAA. I would have to believe that a lot of the parents paying 13k plus tuition do not want to play a bunch of 4a public schools and get crushed most of the time. Like it or not, most pay the absurd tuition to avoid diversity as much as possible.

Anonymous said...

JA is a good school, good staff, good academics, good programs, wrong location. Can't think of any entity that would purchase their complex at fair market value. Just as St. Andrew's lower school expansion will prove to be another huge mistake though because of location their property will be more marketable to a charter school when they realize it is time to abandon Jackson.

Anonymous said...

More likely 4A than 3A.

Anonymous said...

If anyone would venture out and expand their thinking..please look to our neighboring state, TN.

TN has 5 major private prep schools in Memphis, Nashville, and
Chattanooga.

They play in the public classification and do well.... they dominate
in some sports.

I sent my kids to private school and paid over 100K in tuition.

But as they got older they wanted more athletic and academic competition so moved them to Madison Central...they did great both
on and off the field.

So don't let a homer tell you that it's all bad.

Anonymous said...

Jackson Academy will be extremely competitive in Class 4a. Most of their Jackson-based student body is there to avoid JPS and because they don't see the value in the insanity of St. Andrews' tuition. If tolerance for high tuition is the measure of diversity avoidance then the real racists are Saints.

Go Raiders!

Anonymous said...

1:49 please name me one private school in the entire state that if it were put up for sale, facilities and all, not just land, would receive what it is actually worth.

Anonymous said...

Can't beat em....then leave em.

Anonymous said...

JA has been informed that it will likely be in the same 3A Division as St. Andrew's. The division includes:

Crystal Springs
Magee
McLaurin
Morton
Raleigh
St. Andrew's


Anonymous said...

12:31 has it nailed ! MRA to this day still actively recruits players

none other than Egg Lady & Oxford House owner is coaching at MRA and
recruiting players from Germantown and MC

Anonymous said...


TO 1:30. You are dead wrong about that---do you even know what a bounder is---I bet you are another one of those south Jackson boys.

Anonymous said...

2:42 Don't do that. Probably half of the adult population in the Jxn area grew up there but has now lived in Rankin/Madison counties for decades.

You have a high esteem of yourself. To really know you would probably make a bounder look like a saint.

Anonymous said...


3:09, you started the name calling---I'm probably the nicest guy you could ever meet. You need to grow up, looks like you are the bounder.
JA is a great school and I enjoyed my three sons going there but the location stinks and again let's don't forget the purpose of the school, there is no hiding that fact.

Anonymous said...

Should JA go to MHSAA Prep will have to follow. There will be nothing to gain from beating up on the ragtag bunch of schools remaining in MAIS.

Anonymous said...

What in the world is wrong with MRA, or any school public or private, recruiting players or prospective students? I just don't understand the complaint and I hear it constantly. My kids go to public schools so I don't have an ax to grind, but that complaint always baffles me

Anonymous said...

When the recruited athlete goes for free and comes in the 11th grade it ticks off families who have been paying a lot of money for their kid to go to school and play sports there. Then when it's time for their kid to get playing time, they ride the bench. MRA has done this for 20 years to stay relevant with no shame. It's just a crappy way to compete and do things.

Anonymous said...

MRA is a great elementary school but has never preformed well on the high school academic level. As a former MRA parent it is frustrating when your tuition paying child gets benched because coaches & AD found a better athlete for your childs position and finds them some financial assistance to come play ball.

Anonymous said...

Most of the people posting comments really don't know the REAL story about any of this. Until they get all the facts they should keep their OPINIONS to themselves.

Hut Hut Omaha Reality said...

When will you whiners get a grip? Nobody guarantees your muffin-puff a position on the starting lineup, regardless of how much money you pump into the system and how many cases of frozen hamburger patties you buy for the concession fund.

If you thought your baby was going to advance to a spot on the Ole Myth Bear-sharks team after his senior year at a prep-school, consider the history. Remember a few years ago when three boys poured their hearts and guts into the quarterback position at OM only to be benched when Nutt brought in that reprobate from Oregon? This is the same thing you're now bitching about.

Whether it's high school, private or public school, college or professional level....coaches are going to recruit better players than your powder-puffsters who drive your black BMWs and wear their hair down over their eyebrows. Facts is facts.

Anonymous said...

From the comments posted above it appears that some think the purpose of school is to play sports rather than prepare for a meaningful contribution to society.

Anonymous said...

5:29pm Yeah it is frustrating when some poor kid who can play better than your kid gets to come to your school. I mean you have money and he doesn't. Why you should your kid have to compete with them? That's so not fair.

Anonymous said...

Until they get all the facts they should keep their OPINIONS to themselves.

You must be new here. Are you selling eggs out of Newland? Want to walk with me and Daddy Joe between a couple of random chalk marks on the ground for a few thousand dollars?

Anonymous said...

7:56- No kidding

Anonymous said...

99.9% of Mississippi knew that Ryan Buchanan was a bust before his Dandy Dozen status was "secured". Gotta love that pay-for-play Clarion-Ledger.

Anonymous said...

If your kid doesn't go to JA, why do you care?

Anonymous said...

JA Kids will need their safe spaces if they play MHSAA ball

Anonymous said...

7:29pm said, "Most of the people posting comments really don't know the REAL story about any of this. Until they get all the facts they should keep their OPINIONS to themselves."

What is the REAL story? Where are these "facts"?

Sounds like some are JA tuition payers and the customer of the business of JA. Sounds like they should know the facts and it sounds like you are scared of opinions, period

Anonymous said...

4:25pm,

A school "recruiting" a student is just the school seeking better academic and/or athletic talent.

A school recruiting and (against any rules set) offering incentive, financial or otherwise, is simply wrong. If you don't understand why that's wrong, then you also would understand the explanation of why it's wrong.

In private schools, people pay for their child to have an overall education. Athletics is part of the education process for most kids in private schools. A program that seeks to "win" by openly thwarting the spirit of the rules against incentive-laced recruiting is not teaching anything positive to the kids.

The parents are to blame for allowing it to continue for so long and subsidizing it. It being the Miskelly Recruiting Agency (MRA).

Anonymous said...

I don't think the Stepford Wives of JA will enjoy MHSAA. Been there, done that, moved my kids to public school for high school.

Anonymous said...

11:48. that's life. winning keeps the football team sponsored by businesses. if private schools had to make up all that money the tuition would raise significantly. those stadiums, maintenance and upkeep, uniforms, travel--weight rooms. they don't pay for themselves

not everyone gets into Harvard or Stanford. people get rejected by UMC who want to be physicians. not everyone gets to clerk under the judge...even if you are willing to pay or have paid

Anonymous said...

The "upscale" Mississippi paradox. Unless MAIS expands it's membership this move by JP, MRA and JA should be inevitable. The small time MAIS still has the smell of 1970 council schools. In other states there is either a strong league made up of primarily Catholic schools or everybody plays everybody. Mississippi private schools (outside the few Catholics) were born in segregation and cannot shake their association with small time bigotry no matter how many "diversity officers" they hire. And how would it look if they help the MHSAA to look desirable when they really look down on most of their membership. Those schools like JA, Prep, and MRA want to be recognized nationally as "progressive" and "upscale" but can't do it without shaking off some remnants of the past. But don't we just love the past. How do they do it without dirtying their clean white hand on those "other" people? Hmm. Same ole Mississippi paradox. This is a special place.

Anonymous said...

Good gosh 753. A bit dramatic you think? Fact is that parents pay the tuition for certain privledges that you can't receive at public schools, like sports activities and playing time. Comparing high school to college is apples to oranges because everyone goes for free in college athletics. The fact that this has to be explained is incredible.

Anonymous said...

Hey 8:18. I agree that private school parents are obviously willing to pay for educational and athletic experiences that they do not receive at public schools. Of course. But when they pay all that money they also want to compete and associate with other parents and institutions on their level and with similar goals. In Mississippi that reality is limited. 7:53 was simply pointing out that, JA has no choice in MAIS but to associate and compete with some schools whose only common thread is that they were created to avoid integration and don't have the resources or support to go where JA, Prep, and MRA intend to go in the future. True or False?

Anonymous said...

This is about MRA's flagrant recruiting and MAIS turning a blind eye. Period. JA is just trying to force MAIS to do its job.

Anonymous said...

No one is arguing that the MAIS isn't top heavy. 9:27. But The fact that JA and prep have the enrollment that they do with the current tuition prices disproves your theory that there is that strong of a desire to compete in a different manner than they already do. It's been mentioned that there are opportunities to enter round robin and holiday tournaments with MHSAA schools in them and cherry pick games here and there already.

Anonymous said...

Wait... hold on a second.

April 23, 2016 at 7:41 AM, are you suggesting that "cheating" is just a fact of life and winning at all costs is fine and good as long as they are getting money for facilities?

Cheating isn't winning.

Madison Ridgeland Academy is and has been in the heart of one of the areas with the greatest amount of accumulated wealth. If money answered all of life's questions, then MRA should be way beyond JA and Prep in providing education to it's students.

As a MRA patron above stated, MRA's high school education is sub-par.

It's my personal opinion that chasing that lion's tail of athletic championships at all costs has degraded the overall culture of the school.

In a casual conversation with a coach from JA, it appears that the coaching staff is being led to believe that the move to the MHSAA is inevitable. Their new football coach is from the public school ranks (not that it's telling anything) but if their selection process leaned that way in order to be better prepared to compete in football in the MHSAA.... well

Anonymous said...

I strongly caution Jackson Academy to look at the average line weight of the teams it is considering to play. We are talking some home grown, farm raised country boys, whose ticket out of their small community is through excelling on the football field or the basket ball court. These athletes do not have the cushion that most JA students do in life and the assurance of college with or without a sports scholarship. In other words, these MHSSA students have more fire in their belly and will knock the crap out of these skinny white boys from JA. The line weights can average 50-75lbs more than the teams JA is currently playing. Parents will deal with alot more injuries and butt-kickings than they are accustomed to. Unless you really have an exceptional athlete from JA who has a legitimate chance of a college career, then what is the point?

I have heard in board meetings that the momentum of this consideration for JA is that the school wants to re-image itself as an Urban School, not a white flight academy, due in large part to the location of the school in Jackson and the changing demographics of the local area neighborhoods. In other words, it is adapting to the changes it can't control. Good for them. Find a way or make one.

As for MRA, MAIS needs to reign them in on their recruiting from other MAIS schools by encouraging students to withdraw from the MAIS school, attend a public school for one term and then try to bring them to MRA as a legitimate transfer. That is so blatently wrong.

Anonymous said...

MAIS is a joke. MRA, Prep, JA need to bolt. Could throw PCS in there too.

Anonymous said...

Clarion-Ledger had MRA in Top 10 overall for basketball in State. What an absolutely joke. MRA is good but not Top 10, not even Top 25. Sells papers though.

Anonymous said...

11:18. cheating in sports? go ask Roy Williams at UNC, or Donnie Tyndall about his time at USM. Auburn under Pat Dye? SMU football? Even local Mississippi College had a national championship in D2 taken away.

it's life. cheating happens in business, sports, government--people do what is necessary to stay on top

Anonymous said...

1:30 said: "Wrong again. MHSAA uses multipliers to level the sports playing field. Please educate yourself ASAP before talking out of your ass."

Strong words and completely wrong. There is no multiplier in the MHSAA. It was considered but after the fiasco of the border parochial schools bolted the MHSAA, the goons in charge learned the other parochial schools would go MAIS and the MHSAA had a change of heart.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks the MAIS is poorly run has never dealt the MHSAA brass.
I have worked with the leadership of both. The chief attributes of Don Hinton and company are incompetence, apathy and laziness, with more than a dash of dishonesty thrown in.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, MRA ain't top 10. Little Simpson Academy gave em a run at MC.

Anonymous said...

How sad. A thread about education is sidetracked by people who think sports is much more important than education.

Anonymous said...

Wha da hell?

This thread is about sports.... period. It is a sports association discussion.

Sad is that you don't even get to that threshold

Anonymous said...

If 3:14 thinks the MHSAA is about academics then we know he has never corresponded with them. Subject/verb agreement, spelling and punctuation are no where to be found.

Anonymous said...

I sense that there are a number of people on here upset that their recruits could not beat MRA's recruits.

Anonymous said...

4:44

Jackson Academy does not pay for athletes to attend JA, nor does JA have new high school athletes show up to play a particular sport year after year.

Over 90% of the graduating student athletes at Jackson Academy have been students since elementary school.

Anonymous said...

Poor JA , just in a bad bad location and that will spoil it all.

Anonymous said...

1:11, Please tell us why did you send your kids to private school? Was it for a better education or to keep them away from black kids? Think hard before you answer. And, also, tell your kids why you send them there. I'm first generation desegregation, and when I tell my white friends that they were sent to private school to get away from me, they always say they were sent to segregated private schools for safety and educational reasons. Well, I went to desegregated schools, and I was well educated and was never in any danger. Some of my friends never went to school with black kids until college and were surprised about how much all kids are alike.

Anonymous said...

In Jackson it is to get away from JPS. You can make it about race if you want but then you'd have to explain away the reasons for success in Clinton.

Anonymous said...

1) This is absolutely related to disgust with MRA's recruiting. 2) The whole MAIS may join MHSAA at some point. It has been discussed. It all comes down to the multiplier. 3) This is a free and competitive market and if JA makes the jump alone, we will see if families flee to other private schools, OR if more families sign on with JA.

I honestly can't predict if this is a boon or bust for JA. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

The Cat that says that JA doesn't pay for athletes to attend JA is living in the past...JA certainly pays for athletes maybe not full tuition but certainly discounted tuition. Booster club involvement and a few Daddy's will get together pool their money for a good athlete. Happens everywhere! You fooling yourself if you believe otherwise!

23 Trap said...

12:10; I believe the average weight of public school linemen in JPS schools is about 272 with some topping 300. When my (white) boy played at Madison Central some years back he was 6'4" and weighed only 220.

And he was a guard who kicked the crap out of lineman who weighed 275 at every school in Hinds County, Vicksburg, Greenville, Indianola Gentry, Grenada, Starkville and Meridian.

Contrary to your hapless opinion, football is not simply about loading up with eleven slobs who have visions of becoming pro athletes.

If you believe white parents send their kids to private schools so they can play football and avoid being clobbered, you're looney.

Anonymous said...

Moving to MHSAA actually gets JA athletes more visibility than toiling against hapless foes in MAIS.

Anonymous said...

9:33pm

I am the Cat that says that JA doesn't pay for athletes to attend JA. I'm most certainly not in the past.

JA has always provided tuition assistance on a temporary basis. If JA provided tuition assistance, as you suggest, to athletes to get them to attend or if the booster club or daddies paid, where are these athletes?

The JA booster club is a part of the school and it's monies are a part of the school's accounting. By design, that "Booster club" involvement you speak of is non-existent and moot.

Anonymous said...

Visibility to whom?

No major college programs attend high school games. College recruiting these days are made outside of the school.

Anonymous said...

"If JA provided tuition assistance, as you suggest, to athletes to get them to attend or if the booster club or daddies paid, where are these athletes?"

If they were on the baseball field last Wednesday night when SA beat them by about a gazillion runs I hope JA reviews their, uh, "investments" ;-)

Anonymous said...

There was an article in the Clarion Ledger some years past concerning a JA athlete from inner city Jackson who was supposed to be JA's version of Michael Ohr and had his tuition paid for by a benefactor. Sure it was for a better education but it certainty didn't hurt that he was a big brawny lineman.

Anonymous said...

If there's one thing Kingfish's site is good for, it's revealing how much pent up petty loathing there is in Jackson. He could drive traffic by just posting "JA is Racist. Discuss." or "Madison Central is as good as St. Andrews. Discuss." and calling it a day.

Anonymous said...

My child graduated from JA within the past two years. My spouse and I worked two jobs to pay tuition, fees, supplies, etc. We never received a dime of aid or assistance from the school. Neither of us are physicians or lawyers, so it was a tough slog at times, but we wanted a good college preparatory education for our child. (I'm being purposefully vague for attempted anonymity).

In my child's junior year, I became aware of people who were receiving athletic assistance or "hardship" assistance, including a number of alumni. I am an alumnus of JA as well, albeit with only one child at the school, but I find it disgusting that some of us work hard and sacrifice to pay the tuition while others are riding the largesse of the administration because they are connected.

I have no regrets about the education we paid for in full. It is paying off in college. However, be aware that there is favoritism beyond just athletics at JA. If other working parents were to become aware of the consideration some people receive, it wouldn't be pretty.

Anonymous said...

That kid is now the starting center on the Mississippi State football team.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish has worked almost every single day since 2007 building his business. He's only mining the gold not making it.

Anonymous said...

JA published, I believe, that they awarded $1.4 million in financial aid this year, or maybe last year. I'm to assume that none of those kids had any interest in athletics, I guess?

Their Jr. High Boys track team had a lot of kids that I didn't recognize from last year. I guess JA is just getting new students earlier than high school. What is the year you can get new students, but not be a recruiting school? Is it ok to get lots of new students in middle school, but just not in high school?

Anonymous said...

I thought JA, Prep, and MRA is where you send your kid when they cant get playing time at a 5-6A public school?

Anonymous said...

"That kid" at MS State had his tuition paid for by a Jackson Prep parent. That parent saw something in the boy when the kid was younger and was attempting to help the kid better himself. Circumstances were that he entered JA and stayed there. The CL or someone did a pretty extensive article on it.

10:31am,

You did not become aware that anyone was receiving "athletic assistance." It doesn't exist. The financial assistance mentioned above has been available for quite some time and is not a long term or year-after-year form of assistance. And from what one parent said, it's basically like apply for credit to buy a house

Anonymous said...

11:26am

Yes, JA is getting new students earlier than high school. Most as early as K3.

Anonymous said...

MRA should be ashamed at the level they perform academically, it's truly sad. The athletic/academic performance levels are inversely related (for those of you MRA graduates, you can look up what that means). Jackson Academy is a prestigious institution in the Jackson area and has been for over 50 years. It's not anyone's fault but your own that you cannot afford to attend/send your children there or any other prestigious private school (MRA is excluded from the list of prestigious schools). Jackson Academy and Jackson Prep are the two best and well rounded schools in the state (and no Saint Andrew's is not the greatest just because of their students' ACT and standardized test scores). Saint Andrew's should implement legitimate drug testing for all of their students, I can assure you the billboards broadcasting their test scores would be taken down. Overall, it's not anyone's business what Jackson Academy or Jackson Prep does, other than those directly associated with the two schools.

Anonymous said...

@11:51am - A rose by any other name. So they don't call it "athletic assistance". Big deal. The fact is that there are kids at JA receiving tuition assistance simply because they show athletic potential. I know a woman whose son was "recruited" (for lack of a better word) from the delta because he is athletically gifted. She now lives and works in Jackson so her son can attend JA at these reduced rates.

So call it what you will, but do not pretend that JA is bringing C-average kids in from Greenville on some form of altruism.

Anonymous said...

@1:17
Well you seem to be sticking your nose into SA and MRA'S business. But like the athletic subsidies I guess that's different.

Anonymous said...

1:18

Then, as said before, JA better review their "investments" because they appear to be sucking at recognizing that athletic potential you speak of.

JA's athletic director is from Greenville. I bet he's responsible for recruiting and getting assistance from said kid. (sarcasm)

If you had any knowledge of MAIS athletics, you would recognize that JA doesn't have all that many kids that are athletically gifted enough to participate at the next level unless it's a smaller school. Even then, the investment of tuition would not be worth it.

The fact of the matter is that anyone thinking their snowflake will play at the next level isn't going to shell out even $6K just to attend JA. It makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

4:37 AM;

Glad to hear your smaller son was so effective with the bigger boys. Good for you. I guess you validated my hapless opinion by emphasisng my point that the lineweight of the public schools is significantly greater than what JA is presently facing. Just saying.

If this move does go forward, hopefully, JA will obtain some larger boys that will be able to kick the crap out of those bigger boys like your son did. At present, it just doesnt have the size and mass some of the bigger schools. Injuries will happen.

And yes, many of those linemen see football as a way to college in spite of your hapless opinion. Dumb ass.

Anonymous said...

What about the academic side of things for JA? If they leave the MAIS, does that put them under the Dep't. of Education for things like accrediting teachers? I'm pretty sure the MAIS does that for them now, but I'm not sure where SACS or SAIS falls into that.
I'm also pretty sure the MHSAA requires major sport coaches to be full time employees. Does that mean that Jay Powell will be replaced?

Anonymous said...

Nobody has even mentioned the revenue that JA will be losing in athletics. Speaking from just observing things with no real data, the attendance and concessions at MAIS events compared to attendance and concessions at 3A, 2A and 1A events will mean that JA doesn't take in nearly as much in gate and concessions, which are pretty important factors in an athletic budget.

Anonymous said...

3:12, unless something has changed, I think I can answer both of your questions using the recent football coaching situation at MHSAA institution Oak Grove High School as an example. The longtime head coach (who held the required teacher certification from the state Department of Education) decided to retire. He was rehired as a part-time certified employee and his only duties were coaching football.

When he eventually decided to no longer coach, the Lamar County school board tentatively offered the head coaching job as a full-time teaching/coaching position to an applicant who had coached at several colleges, including USM, and had a master's degree. However, the applicant did not have a teaching license from the state Department of Education and he could not obtain teacher certification by the deadline imposed by the Lamar County School District, so he could not be hired.

MHSAA assistant coaches can be hired as non-certified volunteer paraprofessionals, as Oak Grove has done with both Brett Favre and Ray Perkins.

Anonymous said...

non-certified volunteer paraprofessionals


Asst coaches have to be certified to be non-certified volunteer (not a Tennessean) asst coaches? I guess they can't be certified to be non-certified part-time paraprofessionals? So, JA would have to dismiss any head coaches that did not have a teacher's certificate, employed full-time or any assistant or head coaches not certified that were part time.

So, yes, baseball, basketball, softball head coaches are a problem because of their part time status and not being teachers.

Anonymous said...

My children attend MRA. Preschool and elementary school teachers and principals are great. The lust for athletics at all costs is prompting us to move our kids before middle school. It is a great school for a jock. My children are more academically and artistically inclined and I can see that my boys will be far better offf in another school. JA is on the list, this is a new wrinkle.

Anonymous said...

Since when is recruiting something new? JA recruits kids to play sports, as well as MRA. It's been going on for years. If you don't realize that then you're blatantly naive.

Anonymous said...

6:32

Everyone should recruit others to attend their school, if they believe their school is good.

The issue with MRA is that they openly offer athletes tuition-free attendance. Recruiting athletes and paying for their tuition, however it's done, is against the spirit of the rules regarding competition in the MAIS.

So, your intentionally obtuse question is simply more recognition that this is a very accepted thing at MRA (and elsewhere).

If JA "recruits" like MRA does, then please feel free to recognize who those individuals that are at or attended JA and came there due to nefarious recruiting.

Anonymous said...

I believe the point is to find the best opportunities for JA's athletes and athletic teams, since the academic mission and what happens in the classroom won't change regardless of athletic association. Remember, both MHSAA and MAIS are voluntary associations formed to help member schools provide extracurricular activities. Schools aren't forced to join either. So, imagine if you are a new school -- whether public like Germantown High School a few years back or private like Hartfield High School about roughly the same time -- you should want to look around at your options. "Where will my athletes have the most opportunities? Where will the playing field be most level so that we'll be competing against schools of comparable size? Where will my student-athletes be able to taste success if they prepare and perform to their best but learn the lessons that come with losing if they don't?" And since this is about the students, it shouldn't matter if a school board of education or board of trustees is asking the questions.

Anonymous said...

May1@ 11:32

You must be in Admin wanting the scoop on who is being recruited..... What about your girls basketball team this year??? How many new players ??hmmm! What about your best athlete that played varsity football this year? JA recruits and you know it! JA just is hiding behind excuses and running from Prep being ??? 40% larger in class size (which it always has and will be). What ever happened to just grinding it out, developing your athletes which you don't and taking the challenge head on and kicking some tail? Do you really think that the MPSAA doesn't come with its on challenges? Yes MRA recruits and has for 3 decades.... Very well known fact so why all,of sudden has that made MRA relevant in the conversation... Again is because you want to take the easy route and run from the issues? Be careful with your decision and before making a knee jerK reaction you better make sure the pros far out way the cons. Remember as administrators you are here to educate the children! I'm sure your JA Family doesn't want to,pay tuition to be educated on giving up and running from the real issue which has been in the recent past a lack of althletic development! It takes hard work to win and it often times starts in the off season! Maybe breaking the we are supposed tomWIN mentality and earning the win is a good place to start!

Anonymous said...

May1@ 11:32 here:

This is why I asked the question. It's because too many are confused, like you.

The JA girls basketball team appeared to have had one new player this year. She was new because her previous school closed. They had one new player last year and she was initially enrolled in MRA and then her mother contacted JA after someone at MRA suggested JA might be better fit.

That "best athlete" on the football team, I assume is being referred to a freshman that moved from somewhere in Texas 2 or 3 years ago.

JA most certainly "grinds out" it's own athletes. As was mentioned before, and I don't doubt the number, 90% of JA's athletes are there since elementary.

Now, to the rest of your comment, I mostly agree with. My kids are elementary aged at MRA. We are seriously considering visiting JA after being "recruited" by parents who go to our church. The "recruiting" they are doing is simply talking about the positives to JA when we complain about the issues at MRA.

It's in doubt that we would even consider it if JA decides to leave the MAIS. Our kids would likely get just as good, if not better, pure academic education in public school here. Why pay such exorbitant tuition to go to JA? We looked at St Andrews when we moved here before the kids were old enough and a similar question was asked then. Why pay to go to St Andrews when Madison public schools seem to be on par? We were sold a bad bill of goods relative to MRA (as a whole). But JA sounded like a better fit for overall rounded education. But, from what we are being told, it sounds like JA is trying to change to something else and I don't think that something else is what we are looking for.

Regardless, the misinformation you provide about athletes there, 11:42 just shows that MRA thinks that because they can pretend everyone else does it, it makes it OK for them to pay for athletes to attend MRA.

Anonymous said...

May 3 9:44 am!

I completely see your point of view and yes it's a terrible in fact a concerning ethical issue! Continue to investigate your options! I do think JA doesn't proacTively participate in recruiting unless their is a bonfied interest in the school ! JA does have an awesome program , Tuition assistance for those who qualify ! good luck with your trying to find a fit for your children. Unfortunately both associations come with many issues and JA will do what's best for the students of JA!

Anonymous said...

FYI- JA decided to stay with MAIS. Hopefully the threat to pull will help MAIS really look at some of their problems.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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