Apparently I went to sleep too early last night.
To get you up to speed, Rob wrote an article about girls basketball, I answered the article with my opinion and since Rob has wrote two articles and a couple handfuls of tweets about his position. All good.
Last night he had mentioned on Twitter that a user comment in support of his column was "nailing it" and that this is a bad environment for the new women’s coach Bobbie Kelsey to thrive in. The comment stated "Where is Barry Alvarez and new Wisconsin women's basketball coach Bobbie Kelsey when female high school basketball players need their support?"
I simply stated on twitter that 1) there is more than one D1 girls basketball program in the state and 2) any involvement by Barry or Bobbie that would have motives of bettering uw basketball recruiting would most likely be a violation.
From there it turned into Rob implying that we donât care about girls sports and that Iâm not a real journalist.
To reiterate my position, I simply think that the Field House is a better facility to hold the girls (and boys) state basketball tournaments. I feel that atmosphere trumps facility. That’s it. I don’t think girls are being treated unfairly if they move to the Field House because I feel it is actually better.
Maybe you had to have been on the court instead of in the stands with a clipboard to appreciate what atmosphere can provide. When you’re between the lines you don’t care what the scoreboard looks like, how comfortable the seats are or how much better parking is.
The only thing that comes into play is the crowd. You feel it. You feed off it. It matters.
So while I don’t have time to "pretend to be a journalist" and get quotes from the players and coaches I’ve talked to that support a move to the Field House, I will point out that your original and subsequent columns did not have quotes either. I will also point out that these are editorials. They are ultimately my opinions.
Lastly, since the board of control is busy today, I will provide some answers that Rob posed in one of his columns he wrote in reply to mine (but didn't link to my article or mention me in any way).
RH) Which girls sport is considered the WIAA's marquee sport and, if it's basketball, why doesn't it carry as much weight in the decision-making power as the sport does when pitted against other boys sports?
NK) First and foremost you have to pay the bills. If the girls can’t draw more than 10,600 people and the boys can then the WIAA would lose money by having the boys in the Field House and the girls in the Kohl Center. Secondly, there is a group of girls basketball coaches that do support this move.
RH) Would the WIAA consider moving the state boys basketball tournament to another date (let alone another venue) if baseball, track and boys golf coaches came forward and said: "The boys basketball season is too long; can you shorten it?"
NK) Not really applicable unless you move the boys basketball tournament two weekends into the future. That is what they did with girls basketball and why it became an issue.
RH) What response does the WIAA think it would get if it gathered 100 girls -- the actual basketball players -- in a room and asked if they'd rather play their state tournament at the Kohl Center or start the spring sports season earlier? What response does the WIAA think it would get if it gathered 100 girls -- the actual basketball players, most of whom were still in diapers the last time the UW Field House was home to any basketball Badgers -- in a room and asked if they'd rather play their state tournament at the Kohl Center or the UW Field House?
NK) I think you’d be surprised by the results. I think you should also ask if they’d like to play in the Kohl Center during their spring break with 50 students from their school in the stands.
RH) What happened to the Doug Chickering Principle that you find the best facility in the state for a given sport and play the state tournament there?
NK) Why isn’t state baseball played at Miller Park? Why is boys volleyball played at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Why is hockey at the Alliant?
RH) Will moving the WIAA state girls basketball tournament to another outdated facility in Madison give the WIAA a precedent to finally move the WIAA state football finals out of over-sized Camp Randall Stadium to a more appropriate facility like UW-La Crosse and UW-Whitewater and give the WIAA the flexibility to play the games Thanksgiving weekend?
NK) Football and basketball are apples and oranges. I also think there is something special about playing on the field of the only division 1 college football program more so than playing on the court of one of four college basketball programs in the state.
RH) What happens when UW has the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten men's hockey tournament and would really, really like to host the semifinals/finals at the Kohl Center? Will the WIAA make the girls flip-flop weeks with the boys and kick the girls to the Field House?
NK) Based on historical attendance numbers they probably wouldn’t have a choice.
RH) How many years of grousing about the inadequacy of the UW Field House will the WIAA allow before it brokers the next deal, backs up the moving van and takes the tournament to the Resch Center in Green Bay or the U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee?
NK) As mentioned in my previous article, the Field House got some upgrades when they upgraded Camp Randall. I saw the new locker rooms and media room with my own eyes during the WBCA All-Star games. You also have to remember that the city of Madison has a big interest in keeping this tournament in town. I would imagine if a commitment was made by both sides that whatever things they feel like are below standard will be taken care of. If there not, there is nothing wrong with Green Bay or Milwaukee.
RH) What happens when a state champion girls basketball player declines her medal at the postgame awards ceremony, out of principle, knowing what a colossal inconvenience her state tournament has apparently become on the ones handing out the award?
NK) Did any boys wrestlers give up their team wrestling medals this year? Did any boys volleyball players give up their state medals? What about hockey players?