The news broke today that the Region 4 basketball tournaments will leave Diddle Arena and be at high school sites this year. The girls’ tournament will be March 3, 4, 7 and 8 at Allen County-Scottsville. The boys’ tournament will be March 5, 6, 10 and 11 at Barren County.
The site decision had to go to KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett because the Region 4 athletic directors could not reach the required number of votes either way. Here is a story by BGDN writer Micheal Compton on that subject.
Below is Tackett’s ruling sent to the Region 4 ADs, outlining why he’s chosen to move the tournaments to the high schools this year.
Good Morning. I hope each of you had a chance during the holiday break to rest and recharge. It is necessary for all of us now and then.
Thanks to each of you for sending representatives to the meeting in Bowling Green to discuss the location of the regional basketball tournaments for boys and girls. While it is apparent that there are many long standing discussion points, the fact that each of you were represented was critically important to me and to the Association, and in-person discussion is much preferred on issues like this to email trails, etc. Deciding the sites of the regional basketball tournaments is one of the more complex decisions that must be made and that is particularly illustrated by this last discussion. While I try, and will continue to try, to honor the wishes of the membership, when those discussions don’t yield the necessary level of consensus, I have no problem in making the final determination. WKU has been supportive both to its regional schools and to the KHSAA for many years. I realize that a significant portion of its enrolled student body come from the counties that comprise the 4th region, so it is always in their best interest to work cooperatively. WKU has opened its collective arms to many of the events of the KHSAA as well, and has been a great partner and I truly believe the University realizes the value not just to athletics, but to admissions and community relations, of having these events on campus.
In this particular consideration, there are obviously three schools of thought with nearly equal numbers of member schools falling into those thoughts. There are a group of schools that feel the event is best served at a local school host, from both a financial standpoint and various other aspects including the cost to fans. There is also a group of a similar number that would prefer to play at WKU regardless of cost, attributing their support to a different but equally understandable set of factors. There also exists a third group, that frankly, appear to not be passionate either way. I have looked at the information given by WKU in the discussion meeting and an independent analysis done by one of the ADs, as well as factored all of the opinions of the schools. Although I found the cost analysis done within the region to be somewhat inaccurate (specifically the publicly stated economic benefit to each of the schools), nonetheless the information shed light on most of the issues. While I think some of the internal charges being charged by WKU are negotiable and may simply need on campus collaboration of administrators and the like, it is of particular concern to me the charges that are being passed directly to the fans (parking, concession pricing, etc.) that while not impacting the bottom line payout to the schools, do have an impact on the overall tournament satisfaction.
After reviewing all aspects of the decision, the 2014 Boys’ Basketball Tournament will be set for Barren County High School, with play to be conducted on Wednesday 3/5, Thursday 3/6, Monday 3/10 and Tuesday 3/11; and the 2014 Girls’ Basketball Tournament will be set for Allen County Scottsville High School, with play to be conducted on Monday 3/3, Tuesday 3/4, Friday 3/7 and Saturday 3/8. The collective group of administrators may desire to make slight adjustments to this schedule, but are reminded to schedule with the order of the state tournaments in mind, and bear in mind that the regions may not hold games on the same day at different sites.
It is my hope that a more unified consensus can be achieved within the region for future years, and that these discussions can be held to where a decision can be made prior to the finalization of the mens’ and womens’ basketball schedules for WKU, so that all options can be considered. It would be my intention to have this determination final by September, 2014. I offer my own (or a member of our staff) intervention in the discussions, and will be sure and bring these issues to light as we consider the long term hosting of our own state events (football and girls’ basketball) hosted by WKU, both of which will be considered for future years during the spring of 2014.