After concluding its annual winter meetings this week, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its second conference alignment proposal for the 2013 season.
An initial realignment draft, proposed by SAS Business Analytics of Cary at the end of November, grouped potential conference members by geography and size.
While the first draft meant changes for the Southeastern Conference, the new draft proposal leaves the current league intact, preserving conference rivalries.
The new proposal would keep all six current SEC team members in the same conference.
The initial draft meant the loss of Lumberton and Purnell Swett from the Southeastern Conference, which joined the league in 2008.
The first draft brought back former Scotland County foes Seventy-First and Jack Britt. The two Fayetteville, N.C., schools formerly competed with the Fighting Scots in the Mid-Southeastern Conference before disbanding.
The new realignment proposal would keep Jack Britt and Seventy-First with Cumberland County Schools such as Douglas Byrd, Pine Forest, Cape Fear and E.E. Smith.
The second draft would also mean that the Pirates and Rams would not join a conference with four Wilmington schools.
The initial draft included Lumberton and Purnell Swett in a conference with Ashley, Hoggard, Laney and New Hanover. The new draft adds 3-A schools South Brunswick, Topsail and West Brunswick to the Wilmington league. The Wilmington conference would be one of five spilt conferences that include 4A and 3A institutions.
“The alternative draft does include some split conferences,” the NCHSAA released in an online statement Friday, “particularly to address some areas where a straight one-classification conference appeared to have some travel issues.”
Schools will have until January to respond to the NCHSAA about the computer model and NCHSAA proposed staff model.
Member institutions of the NCHSAA will meet next month for the January Realignment Regional Meetings to reconcile both drafts for realignment beginning in 2013.
The NCHSAA also deliberated basketball and football playoff recommendations at the winter meeting, integrating a playoff pod system similar to the football pod system for basketball.
Basketball playoff teams will be placed into sectionals geographically next year. The change will not be a radical one since predetermined playoff brackets are already created based on a teams’ geography.
The NCHSAA also decided that in 2012, football teams will be allowed to drop any non-conference football game for playoff seeding purposes, providing that the team plays 11 games.
Last season, teams could only drop endowment games from their schedule for playoff purposes, if they played 11 games.