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IHSAA Tests Single-Class Basketball Support

Last updated on Wednesday, April 18, 2012

(PLAINFIELD) - When it comes to high school sports, Hoosiers love to debate the current multi-class system for basketball.

Now, the Indiana High School Athletic Association is holding a series of town hall meetings to gauge where public sentiment stands.

"I think it is appropriate for the association to hear what the public has to say about all tournaments, whether it be basketball or any other activities that we accomplish" said IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox.

The town hall meetings came about during the last legislative session. That's when State Sen. Mike Delph filed a bill that would have compelled the IHSAA to return to single-class basketball. Cox said the bill was pulled after he agreed to hold a series of town hall meetings to gauge public opinion on the issue.

"The sentiment is right down the middle right now," he said. "You have people who are passionate about the single-class tournament and what that means to the state of Indiana. ... Conversely, you have people on the other side of the issue that look at the opportunity that multiple-class has provided member schools and the great stories multiple-class tournament has been able to provide."

A few dozen people turned up to the Tuesday night meeting at Plainfield High School. Many came to support the single-class system.

"The leaders of tomorrow will be competing against Russia, China and India. And they don't have class basketball. But winner take all," said David Meek, Geist.

One former Hoosier had a similar take.

"It's really not about fairness at all, even though that is advocated by multi-class proponents. In my opinion it is about competition. If you talk about fairness, you are not talking about the real world," said Cliff Johnson, who grew up in Indiana but now lives in California.

At the end of each meeting, organizers take a straw poll of the audience. The last meeting is scheduled for May 24. Along with the public straw polls, the IHSAA will also poll member school principals, athletic directors, basketball coaches, even players.

Commissioner Cox hopes to have the results compiled before the end of May.

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