Sixteen high school boys and girls basketball programs, which were set to play in state championship games across four classifications more than a month ago, will likely receive clarity early this week.
The NCHSAA's spring board of directors meeting began today, the first of a two-day virtual assembly with voting on myriad agenda items expected Wednesday. According to a news release from the NCHSAA last week, finalization for basketball playoffs and policies for summer activities were included topics up for discussion after Gov. Roy Cooper announced that school campuses would not reopen during this academic year.
Will those basketball programs be dubbed co-champions or simply East and West Region title-bearers? That's a decision set to affect two teams in the Piedmont Triad.
Winston-Salem Prep boys, a No. 2 seed in the West Region, was set to face Henderson Collegiate in the Class 1-A championship at Reynolds Coliseum on March 15, with the Phoenix trying to win a sixth crown since 2008. The defending Class 3-A champion Southeast Guilford girls, with just a lone loss, were scheduled to play Fayetteville Smith in Raleigh.
The NCHSAA put those title hopes in a holding pattern March 12 with the indefinite suspension of the final championships of the winter season. Que Tucker, the association's commissioner, advanced the board of directors' impending discussion in an interview with "Talking Preps," a streamed show produced by the Charlotte Observer, this week.
"That's going to be a decision for our board to talk about (Tuesday)," Tucker said. "There's this idea out there that we had already, as a staff, said 'OK, they're going to be co-champs.' I'm not real sure where that ever came from. That sentiment is out there. But we also have other side who say, 'You can't be a co unless you played the game.' Do we get rings? Are the rings going to say, 'We're state champs?' We'll discuss it as a board and try to make a decision.
"If you guys go back and look in our archives, there were instances where we were unable to play state championships. We ended with a regional championships and ended the season in that way. I'm just not real sure where the board will land on what we need to do."
Cooper said last week that state officials are looking ahead to reopening in August. He also extended the state-wide stay-at-home order to May 8.
The next hurdle will likely be high school football, with camps and 7-on-7s scheduled to kick off in June. The new athletics season is scheduled to begin Aug. 1, with football a primary revenue generator for athletics budgets.