The Bryant School District’s suit against the Arkansas Activities Association, which administers athletics for the state’s high schools, went to court this morning in Little Rock.
Bryant filed the suit after being assigned to a conference for the 2014-16 cycle that includes Siloam Springs, a town on the Arkansas-Oklahoma border west of Springdale in the northwest corner of the state. The league also includes Alma, Greenwood and Van Buren along with Conway, Russellville and Little Rock Catholic. Bryant contends that the AAA, by making the assignment, violated its own by-laws, which make geographical proximity one of the primary considerations along with comparable attendance figures.
Bryant is a Class 7A school, among the top 16 in attendance as is Van Buren, Conway and Catholic. Alma, Greenwood, Russellville and Siloam Springs are Class 6A schools among the next 16 largest (17 to 32). League schedules for volleyball, basketball, softball, soccer and baseball usually include home-and-away dates among its members.
Currently, Bryant is a member of the South Conference, which includes Benton, Sheridan, Little Rock Fair, Lake Hamilton, Pine Bluff, Texarkana and El Dorado, which are all 6A schools. It’s a league Bryant was a part of for many years before the largest classification went from the top 32 teams to the top 16 about a decade ago.
Appeals to the AAA were voted down by the organization’s 19-member board, made up of representatives from schools around the state, resulting in the decision to file the suit.