Emma’s Dilemma: AIA: this year’s ultimate people pleasers

AIA attempts to please everyone with 94% qualifying for playoffs


Newspaper adviser Damien Tippett

Editor and chief Emma Fernandez.

After the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) division-placing fiasco and the please-everybody appeal process, only 17 football teams chose to compete in Division-I this season. This brought up the question of how many teams would make playoffs. The AIA ruled that no fewer than 12 and no more than 16 teams could make the postseason.

After hearing the perspective of the 17 Division-I coaches, the governing board decided on a 16 team postseason.

Why would these coaches want a season where all but one team makes playoffs? It’s actually quite simple; with only 17 competitors, Division-I teams are being faced with some pretty tough schedules. So, a 94% chance of making the postseason can be seen as a reward for being one of the few teams that decided to stick it out in Division-I.

According to AIA Executive Director Harold Slemmer, the AIA is just, “trying to say yes to everything.”

In an attempt to satisfy everyone, the AIA decided that 16 teams would make the playoffs–using the same ideology that messed up the divisions in the first place during the appeal process. However, this time, their please-everybody mentality is working in the Division-I teams’ favor.

With 16 teams making playoffs from each division, there is potential that a Division-II team could go 6-4 and not make playoffs, while a 4-6 Division-I team would make the postseason. While it may seem unfair to the Division-II team, it is 100% their fault. They had a chance to appeal their division placement and it was their choice to move down to or stay in Division-II. Also, they have the luxury of facing easier teams in Division-II, so having a better record than a Division-I team makes sense.

Overall, a 16 team postseason would benefit everyone in Division-I; anyone who is unhappy with the decision only has themselves to blame.