As a Hoosier who loves the game of basketball and all sports, each year I voice my thoughts about that time when those five men down at ISHAA took away from us the opportunity to have a single state champion.
They stuck the knife in so deep that the pain lives on the game of basketball at that time, when the sport took a nose-dive into a puddle of wishes that it had never happened. Sure, it is great that there are many champions according to the size of the schools, but what did it say to each school as to the greatness of having that championship?
What it did was to make a school a champ among champions and it told them that they won it because they did not have to play any schools larger than them. It told the players that they have their own championship that could not be won under the old system. It told the fans that here you are, back your school because the chances of winning a championship have been made better because they were not good enough to play the big schools and have that chance to win it all. And if you look at the attendance count in basketball games since the system was changed, you will see that it has gone down a lot and so the schools suffer from low ticket sales.
Will we ever get back to the one-class system in Indiana? It would be great if it did but it does not seem possible to happen in our lifetime. It has only been a short few months since the season was over and the classes crowning their champs, but I would be willing to bet that half of the fans and sports writers, as well as some of the players themselves, cannot tell you who won the final games this year. And probably they would have to go to a record book to tell you who won last year’s final games. I can’t because it did not make that mark in our brains like it used to when we had only one champ.