The University of Wisconsin has hosted the WIAA boy's high school state basketball championships every year but one (1936) since 1920. News coming from Madison Thursday afternoon has indicated that the upcoming 2012 tournament may be its last for the forseeable future. A WIAA Board of Control voted to move the event to the Resch Center, in the Green Bay suburb of Ashwaubenon, if the Kohl Center isn't made available in time for the 2013 and 2014 tournaments.
On Friday, UW issued a statement regarding the ongoing discussions with the WIAA.
"We remain hopeful that we can still come to some resolution over the scheduling conflicts that have arisen in regard to the WIAA’s use of our athletic facilities. In the spirit of cooperation, UW Athletics and the WIAA have done that many times over the years and we’re confident we can do it again.
"The language in the current contract between UW Athletics and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association states that “the University and WIAA will mutually develop a plan which will accommodate both parties by either making schedule or venue changes” in instances where there are scheduling or venue conflicts. UW Athletics has made every attempt to hold up its end of that agreement. We have not changed our method of working with the WIAA to resolve scheduling conflicts. In fact, both parties are contractually obligated to do so. Following are several clarifications regarding the availability of UW Athletics facilities for WIAA events.
-The WIAA requested in writing that the 2013 girls basketball tournament be moved to an earlier date and that it be played in the UW Field House. We accommodated that request.
-The 2013 individual state wrestling tournament has not been displaced. There was a UW men’s hockey series in conflict, so we moved the hockey series to Saturday/Sunday in order to accommodate the wrestling tournament Wednesday-Friday at the Kohl Center.
-The NCAA men’s hockey tournament is extended out one week in 2013 and that causes the WCHA playoffs to extend out, as well.
-We, along with the Big Ten Conference and our Big Ten peer institutions, spearheaded the revision of the format of the future Big Ten hockey tournament in order to accommodate WIAA events.
We have, and will continue to look to resolve scheduling conflicts as they arise.
A December survey showed that 72 percent of all WIAA basketball coaches preferred Madison as the locale for the state tournament. When asked about their choice of venues, nearly 60 percent said they prefer the Kohl Center with the UW Field House as a back-up.
We have said repeatedly that we value the longtime relationship we have had with the WIAA and that we do not want that to change. This is a relationship and a tradition of which we are very proud. It is a relationship that we and our partners in the Madison community value deeply and want to continue well into the future."
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