Saturday, February 27, 2010

Columbus City League Post Seasen Awards Decision

Although there have not been any formal announcements about the Columbus City League post season awards decision, it's clear by now that a lot of people have heard rumors about what is believed to be the final outcome of the coaches' vote. With so much information floating around out there (see your favorite message board) about the decision, much of it conjecture, rumor and simply misinformation, I thought I would take a shot of clearing up some of the information and introducing a few facts.

As is customary for most high school basketball leagues, on February 25th at the Columbus Student Activities building, the 16 head basketball coaches who make up the the Columbus City League, met to decide the recipients of the league's post season awards, most commonly referred to as First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention. Because the league is divided into to two divisions (North & South), coaches from both divisions were separated by division and seated at separate tables to cast their votes.

From my sources inside the room, the North Division coaches initially cast their 1st team votes as follows: Jarred Sullinger (Northland), JD Weatherspoon (Northland), Jeremy Dixon (East), Bucky Chenault (Centennial) and Craig Sealy (Brookhaven); leaving a 3-way tie between Trey Burke (Northland), Jordan Laster (Centennial) and Percy Dean (Mifflin) for the final spot. After more debate and a second vote, there was still a two-way tie between Burke and Laster. A third vote resulted in Jordan Laster getting the nod for the final 1st team spot.

It's my understanding that after the final vote, Northland coach, Sach Sullinger objected to the fact that his top three players (Sullinger, Weatehrspoon & Burke) were not voted onto the 1st team. At that point, Sullinger is alleged to have demanded that if all three of his players did not make the 1st team, then all three players should be taken off the lists entirely. Although the North Division coaches implored Sullinger to re-consider his stance, he reportedly refused and a new 1st team was selected which included: Sealy, Chenault, Dixon, and the additions of Laster Dean and Peter Kpan.

At this point you can debate the merits of putting a 3rd player on a 1st team or weather any 1st team should include the top 5 players in the league or some other mix (i.e., 2-2-1) of players based on the final finish of the teams in the league. For some historical perspective, according to All-Ohio's Jerry Watson, not since East High School's Bo Lamar, Eddy Ratliff and Nicky Connors did it back in 1969, have three players from the same City League team made the 1st team. Also, if you will recall, about 5 years ago, Brookhaven's Drew Lavender, a 1st team All-Ohio selection and McDonald's All-American was relegated to the 2nd team because his team was loaded with 6 future D-I players. Considering past precedent, context of the recent decision and the process that created the situation should be a little clearer.

As I pointed out earlier in this piece, no formal lists have been published to date, so in theory, we really don't know what has been decided. Well maybe we do. It's my understanding that Columbus School officials, as high up as Dr. Gean Harris, the Columbus Public School Superintendent, may have stepped into to right this situation. I have heard that Northand recently held a team meeting where the players were informed that Sullinger and Weaterspoon were placed back on the ballot, and will in fact be present on the City League North 1st Team list. If this actually transpires, it will not only save the Columbus City League from a public relations "black eye," and certain local, state-wide and national ridicule, but it will give the kids their just due and the recognition their on-court play deserves. Although I have my own personal opinions on the matter, I have kept them to myself and tried to introduce more facts from people who were actually part of the process. I will let the reader decide their position on the matter. I hope this helps bring some clarity to the situation. Please feel free to post your comments below.

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