Back in March, the Georgia High School Association was at the center of controversy when the state’s high school basketball championships were knowingly played on a court that wasn’t regulation. Now, for the first time in nearly 50 years, the tournament is being moved from Macon.
According to a report from the Marietta Daily Journal, basketball arenas at the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech will likely each host two days of the tournament next March. Though not finalized, the Daily Journal reported the March 8-9 games would be played at UGA, and the March 10-11 games at GT.
The GHSA did not offer any comment to the Daily Journal, but the information was obtained through an open records request, and the report said an announcement is likely to come at the end of this month or in early June.
GHSA executive director Gary Phillips was reached for comment by AJC.com, but did not confirm the change of venue, and said any move would not be related to the issues at last year’s tournament.
“It’s just what we think is in our best interest of that sport,” Phillips told AJC.com. “We’ve moved other sports from place to place, some in our control and some not. This one is more publicized and speculated upon than others.’’
The 2016 tournament went viral for all the wrong reasons, gaining the ire of basketball fans everywhere when it became clear that basketball hoops weren’t placed in the correct spot on the court. The stanchions were too far back, bringing the hoop closer to the baseline. As a result, players would come down with rebounds and land out of bounds, and shooting percentages were abysmal.
Even worse was the news that GHSA officials knew the courts weren’t regulation, but because they were running late on the daily schedule of games, refused to delay the games further and fix their mistake.
There were even issues with the locker rooms and restrooms, the Daily Journal also said, and team buses were charged $20 for parking.
The Macon Centreplex, which opened in 1968, has hosted at least a part of the basketball tournament every year since, the report added.
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