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Georgia HS Sports Association Relaxes State Rule to Allow Wheeler HS to Play at Dick's Tournament
A long-standing Georgia HS Sports Association Rule Blocked Wheeler from play; the GHSA relaxed that rule today allowing Wheeler HS to Play in NYC
By: Myers Park Basketball Parents
However, late Wed., things changed dramatically for Wheeler. GHSA officials voted to relax those rules and allow Wheeler, a 30-2 Georgia State Championship team, to play in New York. Player dejection and disappointment immediately turned to jubililation.
In Charlotte, Myers Park High School (28-1) will be playing to repeat as state 4A Women's Basketball Champions Sat. night, March 14.. At 2 pm Tues., March 17, the full North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) board will hear a formal appeal of their earlier rejection of the school's bid to play. The main rule cited for denying MPHS's bid to extend their season by three weeks to play in the tournament is that the Winter sports season has a hard stop on March 14. This tournament is on April 3-4.
Only four women's basketball teams will be a part of the official field in New York. Myers Park's invitation is contingent on approval by the Board no later than March 17. This invitation cannot be extended.
The hopes and dreams of many players, coaches, students, families and fans will be dashed if the invitaion is formally rejected by NCHSAA. And, it is estimated that Myers Park, Charlotte and North Carolina will lose tens of thousands of dollars in marketing exposure based on the team playing on ESPN.
The Georgia High School Sports Association realized that times are evolving and keeping Wheeler at home was a "no win" proposition. The Association is now seen as the good guys, the governing body that showed leadership and flexibility in the face of extraordinary circumstances. They've allowed a fabulous team to showcase its talents on the big stage and represent Georgia.
Since March 3 - about one week - 4,600 people have viewed one of Myers Park's handful of online press releases about their effort to play at Dick's Nationals in New York. All of these people are rooting for the hometown team, the "super achievers" that are now ranked #4 in the United States.
We hope the NCHSAA will take a close look at the big picture. People respect the governing body's authority. We know that the association must have rules to keep the nuts and bolts of their 400 high school organization working properly.
But, extenuating circumstances alter all things. You have to weigh the value of the rule versus the pain and dejection of rejecting the trip. You have to evaluate the spirit of the law and see whether the law makes sense in this circumstance. You have to see the big picture and realize that we are all on this earth a short time and these opportunities are extremely rare. And, you have to applaud and reward total excellence. At #4 in the country, Myers Park cannot go much higher...but the team wants to try on national television.
There are no losers in this scenario if, like the GHSA, NCHSAA allows Myers Park to extend its season by three weeks to play. Myers Park gets to represent Charlotte, prove how good it truly is and the NCHSAA gets a $10,000 check to be used any way it chooses as the sponsoring organization. Win-Win.
Granting an exemption doesn't open the flood gates...it doesn't create midnight paperwork. It is the grandest achievement to be the best in anything...and it is rare. Myers Park had a previously unforeseen magical year. They've been great ambassadors for their school and city. They will be great North Carolina ambassadors in New York City.