THE SUPER Six football extravaganza in Wheeling -- due to a handful of selfish people -- was reduced to the Fabulous Four this weekend.
The Class AAA title game was taken off the boards thanks to legal proceedings, triggered by self-serving South Charleston parents. South Charleston had several standout players tossed from the game after a brawl in the waning moments of their quarterfinal win over Hurricane.
WVSSAC rules stipulate that players booted from a contest must sit out the next game. Parents of the South Charleston impacted players took their case to a local court, who gave them the green light to play against Brooke in the semifinals, usurping WVSSAC rules.
South Charleston edged the Bruins by a single point in the semis on the strength of the supposed-ineligible players. That spurred a legal response by a Brooke contingency, seeking a ruling that Brooke should be declared the winner, based on the use of illegal players by South Charleston.
It now has fallen into the laps of the state supreme court, which is in recess until January.
I doubt the Class AAA championship game will be contested this year. I also see that as a miscarriage of justice.
Schools that are members of their state association should abide by the rules. The rule in question is a fair one.
Unfortunately, a few self-serving parents don't buy into what high school sports teach -- teamwork, fair play and sportsmanship -- to name just a few.
After the Charleston-area kangaroo court ruled in favor of their hometown players, the South Charleston administration and/or coaches should have put the hammer down on the players involved in the controversy, keeping them on the bench.
That would have ended the issue.
Since the South Charleston officials didn't have the backbone to do the right thing, now chaos rules the Class AAA football world.
What is sad is Martinsburg rightfully gained a berth in the finals. The Bulldogs are being held hostage by legal wranglings. They also are forced to prepare for two teams, not knowing for sure who they will play, if anybody.
If the legal proceedings extend another week, I say that the WVSSAC should declare Martinsburg as state champs and close the books on an ugly and avoidable case study in South Charleston's belief the end justifies the means.
LEE PATRONE is a basketball legend. The former Bellaire Big Reds' great also enjoyed a stellar hoop career at WVU.
Patrone also recently became just the third Mountaineer basketball star to be named an honorary member of the Pikewood National Golf Club. The plush resort is located in Morgantown and was called by Golf Digest as "the best new course in the country" when opened earlier this decade.
After his stellar career on Guernsey Street, Patrone excelled at WVU from 1959-61, earning third-team All-American honors by the Helms Foundation in 1961. He was also a first-team All-Southern Conference selection as a senior.
As a sophomore, Patrone played a key role in helping the Jerry West-driven Mountaineers to the NCAA championship game, where they fell to Cal by a single point.
After graduating from WVU in 1961, Patrone joined the fledgling Pittsburgh Rens of the American Basketball League, although being a sixth round draft pick of the NBA's Detroit Pistons. He chose the Rens to play with hoop great Connie Hawkins.
Patrone is also a member of the OVAC Hall of Fame.
HOOPS FOR HOHO
OHIO UNIVERSITY Eastern will sponsor the 10th annual Hoops for HoHo, a free youth basketball clinic, on Wednesday, Dec. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Health and Physical Education Center. The clinic is open to boys and girls in K- 6th grade.
OU Eastern Athletic Director E. J. Schodzinski will direct the clinic and will be assisted by OUE Men's Basketball Coach Donnie Madzia. The Panthers' hoop teams are also scheduled to assist with the clinic.
The clinic will focus on the FUNdamentals: Passing; dribbling; shooting; rebounding; and defense. Hoops for HoHo is free but all participants are asked to bring a new or gently used toy which will directly benefit our local community. Santa's Elves will be on hand to collect the toys for the Bethlehem Apostolic Temple.
For more information on the OUE Hoops for HoHo contact Schodzinski at (740) 699-2503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE WINNERS of the awards for the Bellaire Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade were: Best EMT/Firetruck - Shadyside; Best Marching Unit - St. John's Pomerettes; Best Float - Belmont Savings Bank. Those winners received a trophy and $50.
The winner of a trophy and $100 prize for Best Presentation of the Theme "The Joy Of Christmas Is UNSTOPPABLE" is Generations Of Steppaz.
The winners can contact the Bellaire Area Chamber of Commerce at 740-676-9423 or Lou Ann Bennett at 740-676-4817 to make arrangements to pick up their cash prizes and trophies.
TCU'S DECISION to join the Big East is a win-win situation. The conference gains a much-needed football power while the Horned Frogs will now have an avenue to the national championship game. The geography with the marriage is a little goofy but Notre Dame is in the Big East for basketball.
OHIO STATE fans should hope Rich Rodriguez weathers the storm and retains the University of Michigan football job. If Rodriguez is bounced from Ann Arbor, Jim Harbaugh is the natural fit, and based on what he has done at Stanford, Harbaugh could build a Wolverines' juggernaut.
Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com