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Haven't we debated class basketball enough?
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:00 AM
State Sen. Jean Leising is beating a dead horse.
In a story discussing her plans for the 2013 General Assembly, Leising, R-Oldenburg, told The Shelbyville News that she will seek a public referendum in which every Hoosier voter will have the chance to weigh in directly on the subject of class basketball.
Since 1997, when the change was made to split high school athletic postseason play into divisions by size, public sentiment has been hotly divided on if the traditional one-for-all class approach is best or if the multiple class change was adequate.
We appreciate the sentiment behind having a widespread referendum, but it would be a waste of time.
In the 2012 legislative session, Leising introduced a bill to return high school athletics to a single-class system.
She has said repeatedly that her constituents - mostly in particularly basketball-loving areas within a 50-mile range of Milan, where miracles happen - are widely in favor of single class. The bill had a committee hearing but went no further.
Fellow Republican State Sen. Mike Delph from Carmel last year sponsored a similar bill.
He led a charge to have the Indiana High School Athletic Association review the class system, so over the course of the summer, the IHSAA had a series of 11 public meetings around the state and conducted several polls on the often-maligned topic, in which it was made abundantly clear that most average Hoosiers prefer multiple class sports.
Empirically, an IHSAA poll of 6,000 student-athletes, coaches and athletic directors found three-quarters are in favor of multiple classes.
Polls taken at the public hearings last year found 68 percent of those in attendance were in favor of single-class basketball. But only 500 people showed up to the hearings, 40 to 50 people on average at each. That's less average attendance than a weeknight girls' basketball game.
Leising is not alone in her wish to return to the glory days of basketball. We've all heard longtime fans bemoaning the good ol' days. Many of the top-tier coaches prefer it, also.
But the public has spoken. The deal is done.
It's time for Leising to move on. The General Assembly has more important issues to address.
- Information for this editorial from The Shelbyville News
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