Myers Park Lady Mustangs Will Contest NYC Tournament Ban by NCHSAA
Parents of #7 Ranked Women's Basketball Squad Demand Conference Call With Executive Board; Plan Legal Action To Play in Dick's Nationals Tournament
The denial is in response to a request from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Myers Park High School officials for the Lady Mustangs, 28-1 and ranked #7 by USA TODAY, to play in the Dick's Nationals tournament in New York City April 3-4.
Parents of the team demand an immediate conference call hearing with the NCHSAA Executive Committee. The deadline to accept the invitation to play is March 14.
School officials were told this week that a conference call could only be held after the March 14 deadline. The NCHSAA denial cited a rule that Association-
The parents argue that the spirit of the rule is not to deny extraordinary educational, cultural and sports opportunities that arise. "Leaders should assess each situation and apply rules based on every situation as it relates to all parties," said MPHS Parent Dan Owens.
The Dick's Tournament showcases four top boys and girls teams in a mini "March Madness" style tournament on ESPN only 19 days after the end of the basketball season. The trip is all-expenses paid for players and coaches and includes NYC sightseeing.
The Myers Park waiver request focused on the following:
1. The advantage of playing two games and holding a handful of additional practices only 19 days after the season shouldn't give the team an advantage next season.
2. Any North Carolina team that reaches the Top 10 in the USA Today rankings at the end of their season and defeats all other teams in North Carolina should be allowed to play against national competition if reasonally possible.
3. The sports and cultural experience for the players could be life-changing. Some players may never get to travel to New York again, much less compete there. The NCHSAA's decision simply denies a once in a lifetime educational and cultural trip.
4. Millions are spent each year promoting Charlotte and North Carolina. The beneficiaries of the trip will not only be the participants, but also Myers Park High School, Charlotte, NC and the state of North Carolina. It is rare for North Carolina athletic teams to appear on nationally-televised ESPN broadcasts. This broadcast will also be an inspiration for young people to play sports.
5. For student athletes who want to play in college, there is no bigger platform. NCHSAA celebrates its student athletes excelling and getting scholarships. NCHSAA should look for ways to allow promotion of some of its outstanding athletes.
6. Women's sports stuggles more than men's sports and has fewer opportunities to be showcased. A NCHSAA waiver to play shows that the association is sensitive to promoting and showcasing women's sports.
7. Coaches tell student athletes to dream big and be as good as they can be...to train as hard and set high goals. The denial of this trip is against everything coaches and players dream of and work hard for.
The invitation is contingent upon the Lady Mustangs repeating as state champions...not an easy feat.
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