By Anthony Rhoads

There's a current proposal among the public school athletic directors to not allow Eagle's Landing Christian Academy to compete in county tournaments.

The plan came up a few months ago and the athletic directors were supposed to vote on the proposal in December but it was tabled until January. The plan was then tabled again at the Jan. 18 meeting so that the athletic directors could get more input from their principals.

The athletic directors are now planning to vote on the proposal in their next meeting coming up Feb. 15.

When the athletic directors meet again, I hope they do the right thing and vote to allow Eagle's Landing Christian to play.

Eagle's Landing Christian Academy is now in the Georgia High School Association; doesn't it make sense to allow them to play in the county tournaments?

When I was doing a story last week about the issue, Union Grove athletic director Scott Mason made a good point when he said that the GHSA does not distinguish between public and private schools, so why should Henry County public schools try try keep a private school out of a county tournament?

If a school is in the GHSA, it should be able to compete in county tournaments whether it is a private school or a public school.

The GHSA does not have separate regions for private schools and when it comes to determining state champions, the GHSA does not have private school state championships and public school championships.

By trying to keep ELCA out of the county tournaments, it appears that the public schools are afraid to play ELCA.

But when you get down to it, what is there to fear about playing a private school? Is it really going to damage the public schools that much to play ELCA?

One of the things that some folks are worried about is recruiting. Private schools are always going to be accused of recruiting and Eagle's Landing Christian Academy is no exception. There has definitely been talk in the community that Eagle's Landing Christian Academy has been blatantly recruiting.

Recruiting is definitely wrong and is against GHSA rules. Now that ELCA is in the GHSA, it should definitely follow the rules that the GHSA has set.

If ELCA is breaking GHSA rules, then the school should be penalized but it has to be proven first and it has to be done through the proper channels.

Spreading gossip like a bunch of old ladies who have nothing better to do isn't going to solve anything.

I am not defending ELCA but at the same time, don't we live in a society where you are innocent until proven guilty?

Folks need to stop the rumors that they can't confirm and they need to stop the whining. If the GHSA finds no wrongdoing, folks need to go on and get over it. In the meantime, ELCA should be allowed to play in the county tournaments.

It will be a way for both sides to extend their hands in friendship and it will go a long way to promote sportsmanship between the public schools and private schools.

Just let the kids play.

Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Wednesdays. He can be reached at arhoads@news-daily.com .