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Indiana basketball tourney format to get second look

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A state Senate committee rejected an effort Wednesday to resurrect Indiana's single-class high school basketball tournament, but the head of the statewide high school athletics governing body agreed to review the current format.

The Senate education committee deadlocked 4-4 on the provision in a measure that sought to restore the single-class format abandoned 14 years ago. Afterward, Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, who introduced the legislation, agreed to drop the tournament provision.

Bobby Cox, commissioner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, agreed after the vote to review the current four-class system, which groups the IHSAA's 408 member schools according to enrollment. But he said he thinks the current format is more fair to smaller schools and that lawmakers should allow the schools to decide how to run the tournament.

"I don't anticipate that there are going to be any wholesale changes in it, but I've told the senator that we're going to work together and we're going to study it and we're going to reach out to the public," Cox said.

Delph said he introduced the bill because the current tournament format has "failed miserably" and because the old tournament, celebrated in the 1986 movie "Hoosiers," helped to unite the state for decades.

"I told (Cox) how important I thought basketball was to the cultural identity of the state — that it's a sport unlike any other sport in how it's perceived by the people of Indiana," he said.

No timetable has been set to review the tournament, which will include town hall-style meetings across the state to gauge public sentiment about the current system.

The tournament provision was included in a bill that also sought to block school districts from starting the academic year before Labor Day and to require schools to teach cursive writing. Senate education committee members voted 6-2 Wednesday to approve Delph's request to change the bill's start date requirement to the fourth Monday in August, but the committee deadlocked on the other provisions. The committee chairman withdrew the bill from further action Wednesday, leaving its fate uncertain.

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  • Too late
    Well this is a time waster. However - I really believe that basketball should have never strayed from a single class system. That being said, the IHSAA should appologize for runing a good thing and leave it alone. far too much damage has been done. What I would like to see is schools classified by other factors besides enrollment - such as income of families that attend, donations, facilities and so on. Some private schools, especxially in football that are 2a or 3a, should be in 5a!
  • Brought to you by the party of “less government”
    Another case of a member of the “less government party” sticking its his nose into things outside his purview. I’d like for Senator Delph let us know how this is going to bring jobs that sustain families to the state of Indiana.
  • past
    Well, let's live in the past, maybe basketball was the glue that held Indiana together 45 years ago, not true in this century. High school sports are not a major entity as it was back then when it was the only weekend activity in a community. too many concerts, electronic games trips to college campuses for the weekend for high school kids, they really don't care and Delph needs to get a life, if he doesn't get this he is out of touch and needs to step down from the legislature and let a more "grounded" and aware person be in office.
  • Single Class Tournament
    The decision rests with appropriate people. Lets hope they are forthright in their word. The single class tournament served a social purpose similar to that of the county and state fair system in summer.
  • Really!
    And REALLY this issue is important why? We have moron legislators !
  • Progress...
    I'm so happy they are tackling the tough issues that will bring jobs to Indiana. IDIOTS!

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