INDIANAPOLIS — Butler University cancelled the event where the Western Boone and Lebanon boys and girls basketball teams were supposed to face each other.
The two teams were scheduled to play at Hinkle Fieldhouse, on the campus of Butler University, Saturday afternoon as part of Big Rivals Weekend, an event where six games were scheduled to take place.
Now, Western Boone will host Lebanon with the girls game at 2:30 p.m. and the boys game to follow at 4:15 p.m.
The event was cancelled by Butler University less than 24 hours before the first tipoff of the event at 11 a.m. between Batesville and South Ripley.
According to the NCAA rule regarding the issue (Bylaw 126.96.36.199) a member school isn’t allowed to host, sponsor or conduct a nonscholastic basketball practice or competition.
Compton Strategies is the third-person party that organized the event, therefor it was ruled a nonscolastic event.
Jim McGrath, a spokesperson for Butler University, said an advisory of the rule was sent to member institutions by the NCAA on Wednesday, but they didn’t originally see the problem.
The NCAA rule took effect April 28, 2011.
At the same time, Compton Strategies organized a similar event at Indiana University’s Assembly Hall. Indiana contacted Ray Compton, of Compton Strategies, who then made contact with Butler University.
“We were notified Thursday night,” Compton said. “We tried to work with the NCAA and we couldn’t get it done.”
With the games at Hinkle Fieldhouse, 12 teams are impacted. At Assembly Hall, it’s 34 teams.
Compton said they requested a waver, but it was turned down by the NCAA.
Compton Strategies has held events at Hinkle Fieldhouse since 2006.
Compton said his group will lose some money after printing tickets and programs along with other upfront costs.
“Our hurt is for the people who lost out on an experience,” Compton said. “I think the biggest loss for us is that our group truly loves doing these events. I just know the kids would have been thrilled to be on the court. That’s a bigger loss than the dollars.”
The IHSAA has a history of holding state tournament games at Hinkle Fieldhouse and at one point held the state finals there. Postseason play at Hinkle Fieldhouse won’t be affected, according to IHSAA spokesman Chris Kaufman.
”There won’t be any problems because we are a scholastic entity,” Kaufman said. “Where they get into trouble is when it’s a third party. I feel bad for them because they’re not doing anything wrong. But the NCAA started that rule and put them in a bind.”
Had the event been contracted through the high schools, it would have been considered a scholastic event and the games would have been able to be played as scheduled.
The NCAA rule was proposed in October 2009 as part of a plan to address current issues in men’s basketball recruiting, according to the NCAA bylaw.
The rule was adopted to keep third parties from bringing potential recruits to a college campus and giving certain coaches recruiting advantages.
However the Butler coaching staff would not have been at Saturday's games anyway. Just 30 minutes before the Western Boone and Lebanon girls game was supposed to tip off at Hinkle, the Butler men’s basketball team will square off with the Ball State Cardinals in Muncie.
“I feel bad for our kids,” Western Boone Athletic Director Jeff Irwin said. “It is unfortunate, but we will have a nice event (Saturday) and make it an enjoyable experience for our fans and kids.”