VHSL Executive Director explains decision to move playoff events from Liberty University

Published: May. 6, 2016 at 5:13 PM EDT
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Many of you are asking questions about the Virginia High School Leauge's decision to move championship games away from Liberty University.

The decision to move state championships started last summer, after several of the Virginia High School League's member schools raised concerns about "super-site" playoff locations and the way those events were arranged.

"It was an extremely broad and comprehensive assessment," said Ken Tilley, executive director of the VHSL.

That process culminated Thursday, when the VHSL board voted to relocate many of its events away from schools like the University of Virginia, where the games have been played for many years.

Among the changes: the annual "spring jubilee" and the group 3A and 4A state football championships will no longer be held at Liberty University.

"We made decisions based primarily on geography, on facilities," explained Tilley.

While Liberty is located near the geographic center of the state, some of the football championships it lost have been moved to The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg.

Thursday's announcement came just days after members of a Northern Virginia school board asked the VHSL to move its debate tournament away from L-U, because of comments made last year by the school's president, Jerry Falwell Junior.

During a convocation on December 4, 2015, Falwell said: "If more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed."

Tilley said those comments did not motivate the board's decision.

Falwell released a statement Friday, saying: "I take the VHSL at its word when it stated...that neither Liberty's gun policy nor my statements about the terrorist attack in San Bernardino had anything to do with the VHSL's decision to move some of its events. I believe the VHSL when it also stated that the decision was based on a presentation made to the VHSL in October, long before the gun controversy."