RECORDS & AWARDS
ANOTHER NEW CASTLE ARTICLE
August 24, 2013Richmond High School
Here's another newspaper article from the New Castle Courier Times. Will the Trojans pull out of Richmond's Homecoming football game?
New Castle's athletic schedule card for 2013-14 is now full of bullet holes. The blast of gunfire came from Indianapolis on Friday in a meeting of administrators from the North Central Conference high schools. They huddled with officials from the Indiana High School Athletic Association to find resolution for the rift between the NCC and departing member New Castle. The NCC has canceled all contracts with New Castle, except in football, for the 2013-14 school year. There is still a chance that the Trojans might play some of the NCC schools in various sports. The conference left it up to the individual schools whether they wanted to schedule NCHS on a school-by-school basis. So now New Castle will await a decision from each of the other seven schools about which games will be left intact, and in which sports. In the worst-case scenario, New Castle could have six games wiped off its basketball schedules and 12 games vanquished from baseball. Only Huntington has definitely said it will still play the Trojans this year. Friday's meeting was the climax to a crazy week in the conference. The Courier-Times has had two previous stories on the subject and other newspapers around the state are rife with commentary. I've heard emotional words from several parties. One morning I received a phone call before I got dressed. To review what has happened: On June 10 the New Castle school board voted to terminate New Castle's membership in the NCC, effective with the end of the 2013-14 school year. NCHS is a charter member of the conference, which was formed in 1926. Immediately after the school board's decision, the NCC published a statement saying the New Castle teams would not be eligible for championships, nor would its athletes be considered for the all-conference teams. So far, it seemed clear. NCHS athletics began the school year believing there would be no disruptions in schedules. The Trojan teams would compete against the NCC schools this year, with the understanding that they would not be recognized as conference champions if they won. But then came last week's bombshell. NCHS learned that some conference schools wanted to pull out of their games against New Castle this year. Logansport Athletic Director Greg Fisher said the there is an exit procedure for any school which wants to leave the NCC, a by-law that has been in place since 2004. He said that New Castle did not follow this procedure, which requires a two-year notice. Accordingly, the NCC said that New Castle would be charged a fee of $2,000 per school to compete in the NCC this year. Otherwise, all contracts with the other seven schools would be voided. Obviously, if New Castle could afford to cough up the $14,000, it could have afforded to stay in the NCC in the first place. New Castle Supt. Steve Fisher informed the NCC that his school corporation could not pay the fee (or fine, depending on your point of view). Richmond, in particular, has said it will not play New Castle in anything except football. The Trojans are Richmond's homecoming opponent. But New Castle was slated to play Richmond in soccer, tennis and volleyball, all before the Oct. 4 football game. If Richmond refuses to play in those sports, why should New Castle send its football team to Lyboult Field? But the bigger question is this: Why did the conference wait until two weeks into the new school year to impose these sanctions on New Castle? It has been known since June 10 that New Castle is leaving the NCC. Why are we just now having to wrestle with exit fees, voided contracts and cancellation of games? For now, it looks like Trojan fans can get ready to cross out several games from their athletic schedule cards. John Hodge is sports editor of The Courier-Times. Follow him on Twitter @cheapseatchat.com