What cancer could not do, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association has apparently done. In a tasteless memo at that.

In a memorandum released May 24, 2019 to all member school principals in Louisiana, the LHSAA used the word by-laws eight times. They could have shortened it to BS.

The memo was a notification and clarification concerning retired coaches.

The LHSAA Executive Committee (I'm not sure if Mo, Larry and Curly were there) in April approved the language, "does not allow faculty or non-faculty retired coaches to be head coaches in the sports of football and basketball."

The memo states according to its database (visions of a robot older than the one on Lost in Space) there were four LHSAA member schools identified that had a retired head coach  when the mandatory "faculty coach" requirement was passed for basketball and football.

LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine then personally asked in the memo that "I ask you chose not to utilize retired coaches and/or any other non-faculty coach for your head basketball or head football positions until a recommendation is submitted to this office to change the language in the LHSAA Bylaws."

I've got a recommendation you don't want to hear, Mr. Bonine.

I don't even understand the purpose of such a by-law.

And apparently won't because my calls to the LHSAA office were not returned.

In 2009, Faircloth resigned as Vidalia High head football coach to deal with prostate cancer.

Faircloth considered - and actually turned in his resignation when practice began for the 2009 season after his second chemo treatment for prostate cancer.

But several of his players showed up at his doorstep and Faircloth was back the next day.

Then-Ferriday High head football coach Freddie Harrison also paid a visit to Faircloth's home when he heard of his illness and gave his support.

Faircloth managed to make it through the 2009 season with the help his coaching staff which really stepped up to the plate admirably.

Faircloth did miss the Ferriday-Vidalia football game and spent two other games in the press box. If anyone had any doubts about how bad the Viking head coach was feeling - that should have ended every one of them.

Vidalia finished 3-7 this season. It certainly isn't the way Faircloth would have wanted to go out. But we all can't write our own endings.

But that was then, this is now.

After Jeff Hancock left Vidalia after the 2015, Faircloth, who was assisting and is in remission from cancer, returned as head coach, leading Vidalia to a 3-7 record in 2016, 9-2 in 2017 and 9-4 last year as the Vikings reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 2003.

The Vikings went from being winless in 2011 to being a top 10 team in Class 2A two straight years.

Under Faircloth, students were not jumping ship to attend a private school. The roster grew each other to the point last year where it looked like the good ol' days.

Enthusiasm in the Viking football program has never been higher.

The Vidalia football program was back to being one of the most respected in the state.

Well, respected by everyone but the LHSAA.

What Faircloth has built back up, the LHSAA has possibly torn down with one insane memo that makes as much sense as having an LHSAA. 

Heck, it even borders on age discrimination in my opinion.

Faircloth leaves Vidalia ranked 18th overall all-time wins by a Louisiana high school football coach, and is sixth among active coaches with an overall record of 274-197 over 45 years.

In 2014, Faircloth was inducted into the Louisiana High School Athletic Association/Louisiana High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Thank you for your time, Coach. Pick up your walking papers on the way out.

I can assure you that your two stints at Vidalia High are appreciated by more than the majority of people near and far.

And I don't need to send out a memo to verify that.

   

 

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