Multiplier changes coming

The IHSA plans to announce changes to its enrollment multiplier for private schools, according to an email sent to media Wednesday by IHSA Assistant Executive Director Matt Troha.

Troha said in the email that the IHSA Board of Directors on Monday “approved significant changes” to the multiplier and school classification policies. Those changes are to be detailed in an email to media Thursday morning.

U-High athletic director Dave Ribbens, who has been pushing for the elimination of the multiplier, said Wednesday afternoon that he was waiting to hear what the adjustments will be.

Two changes he’s expecting are to the IHSA’s multiplier waiver policy. One would allow waivers on a sport-by-sport basis; currently, a school may only apply for a blanket multiplier waiver for all sports. For schools like Hales, which is a small-school basketball power but less successful in some other sports, that all but guarantees the waiver request will be denied.

The other change would modify the current rule which prohibits a waiver for teams that have played for a regional championship twice in five seasons. The new rule would ban waivers for teams that have won regional championships twice in five seasons.

If that’s what is announced, it won’t satisfy Ribbens, who still wants the multiplier to be eliminated.

“It’s not close to being resolved,” Ribbens said. “I think they’re trying to put a band-aid on the real issue. … Marty (Hickman, the IHSA’s executive director) knows the multiplier has to go.”

If the IHSA board doesn’t eliminate the multiplier, opponents could seek relief in Springfield, where the Illinois House and Senate could consider bills that would make the multiplier illegal.

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