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Thread: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

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    Default Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    The future is bleak.

    Forget about 100 years from now; by then, we all might be reduced to cosmic dust. How about 25 years?

    "It's too depressing to think about," said Lawrence North coach Jack Keefer. "A very sad subject, in my book."



    http://www.indystar.com/article/2010...rney-is-ailing

    IndyStar
    March2, 2010
    (unsigned)



    There are going to be a lot of celebrations, a lot of retrospectives as the Indiana high school basketball tournament celebrates its 100th birthday this week.

    So why aren't Indiana high school basketball coaches putting on party hats, blowing up balloons and offering toasts to this grand institution's glorious future?

    Simple.

    The future is bleak.

    Forget about 100 years from now; by then, we all might be reduced to cosmic dust. How about 25 years?

    "It's too depressing to think about," said Lawrence North coach Jack Keefer. "A very sad subject, in my book."

    North Central's Doug Mitchell sees an ugly future dominated by the corporate-run Amateur Athletic Union or semipro teams, with high school basketball either gone or reduced to an afterthought.

    "Twenty-five years from now, I just hope we're not the Jiffy Lube Panthers," Mitchell said during last week's Downtown Showdown at Conseco Fieldhouse. "It'll be semipro, basically."

    There are three big problems that not only have helped dampen enthusiasm but also have curtailed attendance as boys sectionals begin tonight:

    Ľ Multiclass basketball. Old argument, but the issue never dies. Indiana high school basketball hasn't been the same since the change was instituted after the 1997 season.

    "I'll go to my grave saying class basketball was not a positive thing," Mitchell said. "That's what the Indiana tradition was. You don't think Fort Wayne Luers wouldn't mind one class? You don't think Danville wouldn't like to play one class? When (class basketball) happened, the air got let out of the balloon."

    Ľ The economy. With the country in the throes of a recession, school funding is down, meaning funding for extracurricular activities such as high school basketball is down. So who's going to pay? Not the schools, to be sure. Probably businesses, corporations.

    The Taco Bell Wildcats.

    "Really, I think finances are what will end (high school basketball)," Keefer said. "We just voted not to have mandatory P.E. (physical education); well, we're a fat little community already, aren't we? And we're cutting P.E.? It's all dollars and cents. We've got to change the way we fund things, or it's going to change high school athletics as we know it."

    Ľ AAU basketball. While high school basketball shrinks, the summer leagues grow like weeds. The NCAA has tried to limit the influence of AAU hoops, but it hasn't been enough. For some of the top players, the ones who know they'll be playing in front of a who's-who of college coaches during the summer, AAU is a bigger deal than the high school season."If nothing is done, it's going to become a monster," Pike coach Phil Spoljaric said. "Shoot, it's already a monster."

    The summer leagues feature lots of games, usually in front of college coaches, and very little coaching. It's basketball's Wild West. "You get to go to Vegas for a tournament. The coaches are downstairs gambling, and they're hoping the kids are behaving in their rooms," Keefer said.

    AAU serves a purpose -- and Mitchell is quick to note there are some well-intentioned coaches who do a decent job -- but kids don't learn the kinds of life lessons during the summer they get during the high school season.

    AAU coaches won't work the phones to help players earn scholarships; Mitchell estimates that in his 17 years, his staff has helped players secure roughly $3.5 million in scholarships.

    "If there's an AAU coach out there who is working as hard as Jack (Keefer) and myself and (Warren Central's) Greg Graham and people around Marion County, I want to meet him," Mitchell said. "This is what we do. We're educators. We're at the schools. We know what their grades are. If you take that away, you lose something that's very important."

    Times change; we know that. Indiana high school basketball is no longer a rural phenomenon, no longer the central focus of so many small farming towns. The game is more urban now, and it's less of a community centerpiece. And there are more entertainment options now, even if high school hoops remains one of the best bargains around.

    Whatever was left of one of Indiana's great institutions was plundered when the IHSAA foolishly punted the one-class system and went to multiclass basketball.

    Now, it's not only diminished, playing before smaller crowds, it's downright endangered.

    Indiana high school basketball will never be restored to its former glory, but it is a cherished keepsake that must somehow be preserved.

    At the age of 100, Indiana high school basketball can look back on a lifetime's worth of fond memories. But the mind and body are becoming frail, and the future is frightfully uncertain.

    "I feel sorry for the kids and the young coaches; they have no clue what it used to be like, how important it was to the communities, how important it was to the kids and the coaches," Keefer said. "Those days are gone."

    Happy birthday. And good luck.
    Last edited by Putnam; 03-02-2010 at 08:03 AM.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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  3. #2
    sweabs
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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Is the book out yet? I can't manage to find it...

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    100% REAL, 0% OF THE TIME the jaddler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Yeah only time will tell but i also see that high school sports being taken over by corporate money......
    I CANT SPELL!

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    I don't even know what corporate money in HS sports would matter (as in hurting).... except you'd have some schools more easily able to get sponsorships and others not so easy.

    Sponsorships won't change the dwindling interest in the games or how games that once had regional, statewide, sometimes even national interest now only mean something to the two towns or schools competing. And even that is watered down.

    And I'd be careful looking to sponsorships as a last ditch savior anyway... The declining interest in Indiana HS basketball isn't going to make it very attractive to potential sponsors.

    Anyone who doesn't blame multiclass basketball for what has happened to "Hoosier Hysteria" just isn't paying attention or has had a heavy dose of Kool Aid. The massive drop in interest, and money, almost immediately followed the introduction of class basketball and just cannot be argued with.

    The IHSAA took a state treasure and threw it away. What did they expect was going to happen?
    Last edited by Bball; 03-02-2010 at 01:58 PM.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    I think this paragraph gets it wrong.

    Times change; we know that. Indiana high school basketball is no longer a rural phenomenon, no longer the central focus of so many small farming towns. The game is more urban now, and it's less of a community centerpiece.
    I don't think the game is urban. I think it is suburban. It is an important distinction.

    The inner city schools are lapsed as much as the rural schools are. And the rural schools are on such poor footing generally that the only "central focus" is fighting against forced consolidation and cuts in faculty or programs.

    My alma mater lost its basketball coach at the beginning of this year and wasn't allowed to hire a new one because of state hiring rules. So the parents have spent this season angry (and I'm taking about "Run you right up the Monon Line" angry) at the poor math teacher who got dragooned into coaching the team.



    .
    Last edited by Putnam; 03-02-2010 at 01:58 PM.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Coming from a small HS (it still only graduates 70+/- a year) I hated what they did and predicted this at the time. I'm proud to say that I was able to witness the last two single class finals in person.

    BTW......club sports have been in vogue in Europe forever. No HS sports.
    If you get to thinkiní youíre a person of some influence, try orderiní somebody elseís dog around..

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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    All I can say, is you guys are talking in absolutes, and that's just not the case everywhere in Indiana.

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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    I think this paragraph gets it wrong.


    I don't think the game is urban. I think it is suburban. It is an important distinction.

    The inner city schools are lapsed as much as the rural schools are. And the rural schools are on such poor footing generally that the only "central focus" is fighting against forced consolidation and cuts in faculty or programs.

    My alma mater lost its basketball coach at the beginning of this year and wasn't allowed to hire a new one because of state hiring rules. So the parents have spent this season angry (and I'm taking about "Run you right up the Monon Line" angry) at the poor math teacher who got dragooned into coaching the team.



    .
    what school?
    I CANT SPELL!

    THERE ARE THOSE THAT HAVE AND THOSE THAT WILL!

  11. #9

    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Southern Wells.

    I live in Putnam County now, but grew up in Wells County.


    .
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

  12. #10

    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    the ihsaa will never admit it made a mistake going to class basketball. they would rather see it die than to admit to their mistake. their egos are too big to admit has been a failure.

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    It is ka Thankee sai Major Cold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Basketball is dying because football is king of America.

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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Quote Originally Posted by clownskull View Post
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    the ihsaa will never admit it made a mistake going to class basketball. they would rather see it die than to admit to their mistake. their egos are too big to admit has been a failure.

    I agree with this. There were reasons they did what they did, but I don't think they realized the death spiral they would put on Indiana HS basketball. I think they thought it was strong for reasons other than just the winner take all tournament and would survive just fine without it (if not 4 times better with 4 champions!)... but they misjudged the importance of the winner take all tournament to the citizens of Indiana, and ultimately to the game itself.

    ...And they're not going to admit in order to appease some entities they ended up putting the Golden Goose on life support... if not killing her entirely.


    I read somewhere that the IHSAA was alright with basketball being notched back a little in popularity so that the spotlight could be shared with some other sports and allow room for their growth. Not sure how true that is, and I'm sure they didn't expect basketball to take this large of a hit, but it does seem football has risen in Indiana. Then again, it could be coincidence based on the rise of pro football in Indiana getting roots.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    I wonder how many of the commisars er commissioners grew up in Indiana and how many have a tainted background. And yes, football IS supplanting basketball as America's fav.
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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    And yes, football HAS supplanted basketball as America's fav.
    fixed...

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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Quote Originally Posted by travmil View Post
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    fixed...
    no doubt.
    If you get to thinkiní youíre a person of some influence, try orderiní somebody elseís dog around..

  18. #16

    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    All I can say, is you guys are talking in absolutes .........
    No. Some of us are talking in Cabo Wabos. Others in Jim Beams. Some in Budweiser. We're a pretty diverse group.


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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    I don't even know what corporate money in HS sports would matter (as in hurting).... except you'd have some schools more easily able to get sponsorships and others not so easy.

    Sponsorships won't change the dwindling interest in the games or how games that once had regional, statewide, sometimes even national interest now only mean something to the two towns or schools competing. And even that is watered down.

    And I'd be careful looking to sponsorships as a last ditch savior anyway... The declining interest in Indiana HS basketball isn't going to make it very attractive to potential sponsors.

    Anyone who doesn't blame multiclass basketball for what has happened to "Hoosier Hysteria" just isn't paying attention or has had a heavy dose of Kool Aid. The massive drop in interest, and money, almost immediately followed the introduction of class basketball and just cannot be argued with.

    The IHSAA took a state treasure and threw it away. What did they expect was going to happen?
    I would have hit the thanks button but it was not an option. I think educational philosophy had a alot to do with it also. The class system costs more and generates less. A true winning combination. Single class is what drove the little schools and players to strive for
    a shot at it all. If single class came back you would see a revival.
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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    From my experience, it seems like the people who play the games like the class system, but the fans typically don't. Which is more important?

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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    From my experience, it seems like the people who play the games like the class system, but the fans typically don't. Which is more important?
    You might be polling the wrong people. Poll people who played in the single tournament system and see if they would've preferred a class system or the system they were in.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    For those who play the games now, it's all they know. Plus kids these days aren't into history, and how things use to be. They just want to win, it doesn't matter if you're not the one a only state champion, you're a state champion nonetheless.

    I think class basketball has ruined Indiana High School basketball. I understand football some because football is a lot of force and which lineman are stronger and faster then the other lineman. Which players are bigger and stronger then the other plays, and yeah it's like that in a lot of sports but in basketball you have a chance.

    You can shorten the game taking the air out of the ball, run sets or plays, have a certain style that teams have trouble with. play a zone. use the 3 point shot or free throw line as a neutralizer.

    I use to love the underdog story of a small school upsetting a team in the sectional. Having one #1 team in the state that you knew was the best and everyone was trying to knock off. Big gyms like Anderson's Wigwam and New Castle's Fieldhouse jammed packed with school spirit for the sectional or regional.

    It's not the same anymore, and probably never will be.

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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Quote Originally Posted by PacerDude View Post
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    No. Some of us are talking in Cabo Wabos. Others in Jim Beams. Some in Budweiser. We're a pretty diverse group.

    After going back and rereading how I said that, makes me think I'm the one that was drinking the Absolut.....

    Ick.

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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    Quote Originally Posted by pwee31 View Post
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    For those who play the games now, it's all they know. Plus kids these days aren't into history, and how things use to be. They just want to win, it doesn't matter if you're not the one a only state champion, you're a state champion nonetheless.

    I think class basketball has ruined Indiana High School basketball. I understand football some because football is a lot of force and which lineman are stronger and faster then the other lineman. Which players are bigger and stronger then the other plays, and yeah it's like that in a lot of sports but in basketball you have a chance.

    You can shorten the game taking the air out of the ball, run sets or plays, have a certain style that teams have trouble with. play a zone. use the 3 point shot or free throw line as a neutralizer.

    I use to love the underdog story of a small school upsetting a team in the sectional. Having one #1 team in the state that you knew was the best and everyone was trying to knock off. Big gyms like Anderson's Wigwam and New Castle's Fieldhouse jammed packed with school spirit for the sectional or regional.

    It's not the same anymore, and probably never will be.
    Sure, there are the teams that come along every once in a while that can compete across all lines.

    Tri Central in '05 comes to mind.

    The problem with 1A schools competing against 4A schools, isn't the talent. It's the talent size. Good 1A teams have a few guys that could not only play with good 4A teams, but probably start or play big roles.

    What seperates them are when you get outside of those 3 MAYBE 4 guys.

    You're right. I have zero experience playing in anything other than a multiclass system. If it went back to one, I'd be just fine with it.

    I just think it's funny reading quotes, like in the orginal post, from big school coaches talking about how it's no longer the same.

    The only thing different for 4A schools, is that they don't have to wade through the small schools. New Castle not being filled, because of lack of school spirit, is a dumb argument. They are a 4A team. You're telling me, that because Monroe Central, and their high school of 374 kids, not playing a sectional game against NC hurts their school spirit?

    Please.

  25. #23

    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    If you went to a small school the realistic goals were shifted in one-class ball from those of the big boys, but they were still important.

    For example, if you played in a sectional with 2 or 3 big schools, each year the odds were long against you winning it. But when you did, people talked about it for GENERATIONS. Even if you just won a GAME, it was a big deal. Now you compete against other little guys and win more games, but everyone cares less.

    Having a chance to win it all was one neat aspect of the old one-class tournament, but even more was just having a chance at a smaller-scale victory; a sectional title, or even just winning a game vs. the big boys. just my 2 cents. People got all wrapped up in pitying the poor schools when they didn't need or want the pity and were happy enough for the most part with more limited goals.

  26. #24
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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    I guess it gets lost, because we scheduled big schools for our out of conference games. We started doing it when I was there, and then later on, they went full out.

    Here is my school's schedule.
    http://indianahsbasketball.homestead...oyslogs218.htm

    We played 11 OOC. Out of those 11, three of them were also 1A. Two are sectional opponents, one of which is also a county rival.

    Out of the other 8, four were 4A, one was 3A, and three were 2A. They only lost to two 1A teams this year. Blue River late in the season, and Bowman Academy in semi-state, who won state going away......

    I also know they've been in talks for the past couple of years of also adding on Muncie South, and Connersville at one point was in the discussion. I don't know if they would, or were, going to replace another large school, but the better smaller schools have been adding 4A and 3A teams to their schedule for a long time to help gear up for tournament play.
    Last edited by Since86; 03-29-2010 at 01:59 PM.

  27. #25
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    Default Re: Star: Hoosier Hysteria is doomed

    The idea is not supposed to be all about winning a title and expanding that joy to as many people as possible... It's supposed to be about the process of being and playing your best along the way.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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