It looks like the Mississippi High School Athletic Association is bringing Mississippi's segregationist history (when it comes to basketball) to the 21st century. Mississippi State had to sneak out of state to compete in the NCAA tourney. Lanier's great 1964 team got screwed. Now it's the Callaway Chargers who are getting the shaft. The Clarion-Ledger reported:
The Callaway boys basketball team has turned down its invitation to the Dick's Sporting Goods High School Nationals.
The Chargers, who won their fourth straight state championship last Friday, met two of the three requirements set forth by Dick's to be eligible for the high school basketball national championship.
Callaway is ranked in USA Today's Super 25 as the No. 4 program in the country and won a state title this season.
What the Chargers don't have is the approval of the Mississippi High School Activities Association to participate in the event from April 2-4.
The MHSAA does not allow its member schools to participate in postseason play, which it defines as games or tournaments after a sport's season is over. This rule has been in place since 1938 and applies to each of the sports/activities the MHSAA sponsors.
MHSAA executive director Don Hinton told The Clarion-Ledger that a change regarding this rule was discussed earlier this year but not in an official capacity.....
The deadline for Callaway to either accept or decline its invitation to the national championship is 5 p.m. Tuesday.
"I felt like at this point in time there was a lot of pressure being put on my guys and whether they were going to go or not go," Callaway coach David Sanders said. "I didn't want to put them in a situation where they had to be political. I didn't want it to be tomorrow that they find out they couldn't go and then people were coming after us and the next thing we know we're in a full-fledged battle with the MHSAA."
Callaway requested a waiver late last week to allow for a temporary lift to the rule to allow the Chargers to participate in the tournament. Hinton told The Clarion-Ledger that "any change of policy or change in a rule would strictly be a board decision."
The MHSAA's executive committee went into an emergency session last Saturday to discuss the issue. The committee is still expected to vote on the decision on Tuesday, despite Callaway opting out of contention one day before the deadline. Article.
The MHSAA needs to fix this problem. Period. Change the rule, grant a waiver, whatever. Don't forget to pass a resolution asking, actually begging, Callaway to rescind its withdrawal. It's your problem, now fix it.