UPDATED: TRM basketball should be OK after tourney ruled not sanctioned

Published 3:15 pm Wednesday, January 5, 2011

UPDATE: After receiving this story below from Ross, Brewton Standard sports editor Adam Robinson talked to T.R. Miller athletic director. According to Riggs, T.R. Miller’s Lady Tigers have played in three tournaments, playing eight total games while T.R. Miller’s varsity boys have played in two tournaments with five games played.
Of the girls and boys tourney games, two are from last week in Clarke County.
With both teams have 15 regular season games, if the two Clarke County games count as regular season games, the Tigers teams will be at 17 regular season games, which is under the 20-game limit and should be OK.

By Ross Wood
Sports Editor/ Clarke County Democrat

What started out as a simple basketball tournament being played over two sites during the holidays has turned into a mixture of confusion as well as canceled games for several area high schools.
Clarke County High School and Jackson High each host a holiday tournament in the last week of the year. Because they generally run at the same time, teams are lost from one to the other. In an effort to make a really big tournament that would allow several teams to play, the two schools joined together and named the new tourney the Demarquis Besteda Memorial Classic. The games would be split between Grove Hill and Jackson, with the two alternating on dates and venues. CCHS had the Tuesday-Thursday dates while the Aggies had the Wednesday-Friday dates.
As of Tuesday afternoon nine schools that had participated in the tournament were looking at their schedules trying to find non-area games to cancel, in an effort to keep from playing more than the 20 allowed dates.
“The state office called and informed us that since no champion was determined, then it was not considered a true tournament,” CCHS Boys Coach Kendrick Davis said. “It was set up to be a round robin tournament over the four days.”
Boys and girls teams from CCHS, JHS, Thomasville, T.R. Miller and Linden as well as the boys teams from Sweet Water and Coffeeville, plus the girls team from Citronelle are affected.
Last week the final day of the Classic had been canceled when Jackson officials realized that the Friday games had not been sanctioned by the state. Plus, in games on Wednesday, at the Jackson gym, it was decided that teams from the Bahamas were not sanctioned to be playing in the tournament.
“When I got to the gym and saw the teams from the Bahamas playing I knew they were not sanctioned and put a stop to the games involving those teams,” Jackson High Principal Ken Harbuck said. “I knew it was a violation of AHSAA rules to play teams that are not sanctioned.”
Harbuck also explained that the tournament had been approved for the first three days and not the fourth.
CCHS Coach Craig White had turned in to the state the teams that would be playing Grove Hill only. Apparently the games for the Jackson venue were not turned in to the state to be sanctioned.
But since the state deemed it to not be a tournament, there was no need to have it sanctioned by the state. Still, if it is determined that the teams from the Bahamas were not sanctioned by the National Federation of High Schools, there could be a fine for the teams that played those schools. Only the THS varsity boys and CCHS B-team played.
“Those teams were sanctioned by the National Federation,” JHS coach Marcus Castor stated Tuesday afternoon.
AHSAA rules state that all tournaments must be sanctioned in the state office.
According to AHSAA officials, nothing has been made definite because Director Steve Savarese is out of the office until later in the week. A full determination as to whether it was a true tournament will be made then, as well as if any teams erred in the playing of teams from the Bahamas.
To prevent a school from violating the 20-date rule, CCHS informed all the schools involved so that non-area games could be canceled. Because of that the home-and-home series between CCHS and JHS will be canceled this year.
“That is one of the best gates we have all year,” CCHS Girls Coach Tori Johnson said. “We make almost $8,000 that night in attendance and concession. And with money already tight, that will be a huge blow.”
The Bulldogs also canceled their game Tuesday night with Southern Choctaw, also a home game.
Jackson, because of the bigger venue, would likely lose close to $10,000 in revenue that night.
It was unclear at press time how many other games involving area teams would be canceled.

Email newsletter signup