Superintendent Carl Burt and principal James Riley yesterday evening during a meeting with County Superintendent Glen Whitehead and county principals announced the withdrawal of Warsaw high school from the Kosciusko county basketball tourney, effective next year.
Superintendent Burt said today that the decision was made two months ago during a meeting of himself, members of the school board, Principal Riley and Basketball Coach Kenneth Norris. The matter had been under consideration for some time prior to the meeting, he said.
Following the action by the Warsaw school officials, the county principals unanimously passed a resolution expressing their appreciation for the co-operation of Warsaw high school in conducting county tourneys in past years and expressing their regrets that Warsaw is withdrawing from the annual tournament. The resolution was announced by Harold Young Milford principal.
Principal Riley, in announcing the withdrawal to the other school heads, listed the following reasons:
1. Warsaw has been invited to play in a four-way tourney with Columbia City, Goshen and Nappanee. This tourney will be played on Saturday, Jan. 2, 1954, at the Warsaw school armory. Warsaw replaces Kendallville in this tournament.
2. The rest of the county schools will have more tickets for the county tourney with Warsaw out.
3. Other schools which Warsaw plays are no longer in their county tourneys. Culver and Plymouth have withdrawn from the Marshall county tourney this year.
4. There seems to be less pressure and tension when Warsaw is not in the tourney.
5. When the feeling between the county schools and Warsaw is good it seems the proper time for withdrawing rather than when there has been some friction.
6. Warsaw, having been defeated in the majority of the tourneys during the past, has no feeling of superiority and an attitude of being "too good" to play with the other county schools does not exist.
Principal Riley said that in the best interests of all concerned, it seemed the present time is most appropriate for this move to be made. He said the school officials have had fine working relationship with each other as shown by the many projects the county and city schools have carried on together during the years, and Riley expressed the hope that this relationship might continue. Riley said he advised the county school heads that the full facilities of the Warsaw school armory will be available for tourney use if it is desired.
Warsaw has played in the county tournament since its beginning some 25 or 30 years ago, with the exception of a few years in the 1930's when it did not compete.
Superintendent Burt said the matter of withdrawal was first discussed by the school board and faculty three years ago, and then again after last year's county tournament by the school board. Last fall the school board had a meeting due to what Burt said was a clamor on the part of Warsaw fans for Warsaw to drop out of the tourney. However, according to Burt, the matter was tabled by the school board until last September, at which time Burt met with Principal Riley, Coach Norris and the school board. At this meeting, Burt said Norris expressed the desire to stay in the tournament.
At a later meeting approximately two months ago, the same group attended and it was the unanimous opinion to drop out of the tourney, Burt stated, especially since the 1952 county tournament had been conducted without any hard feelings or difficulties.
Burt said one of the main reasons also for withdrawing was the annual ticket problem, which has proven to be a difficult thing to handle in Warsaw, where there are not enough on hand to satisfactorily take care of the student body, let alone the adult fans.
Warsaw Times Union, Wed. April 8, 1953
Editorial -- Thursday April 9, 1953
Here Are The 'Reasons'
Let's take a look at the "reasons" Warsaw school officials have advanced for withdrawing from the county basketball tournament.
No. 1 --Warsaw has been invited to play in a four-way tourney with Columbia City, Goshen and Nappanee. This tourney will be Saturday, Jan. 2, 1954, in the Warsaw Armory.
So what . Certainly there can be no pretense that competition for an invitational tourney title can in any way be as interesting as the chase for the county crown. If this four-way affair is offered as a substitute it is a mighty poor substitute.
No. 2 --The rest of the county schools will have more tickets for the county tourney with Warsaw out.
This is the case. However, it is like saying that there will be more seats available in the auditorium if the class play is called off. With Warsaw out of the tourney there will also be considerably less demand for tickets. Besides, Warsaw fans have as much right to their share of tickets as any other school involved and no one would dispute that.
No. 3 -- Other schools that Warsaw plays are no longer in their tourneys. Culver and Plymouth have withdrawn from the Marshall county tourney this year.
Because Plymouth and Culver and the "other schools that Warsaw plays" do not know a good thing when they see it, do we have to make the same mistake? Our officials certainly were not chosen for their ability to imitate or follow the leader. Two or more wrongs do not make a right.
No. 4 -- There seems to be less pressure and tension when Warsaw is not in the tourney.
The school administrators cannot even remember how long it has been since Warsaw did not participate in the county tourney. Our sports editor says it is his impression it was long before his time --possibly 20 or 25 years ago or more. He can not say why Warsaw did not play at that time but is under the impression that Warsaw was ousted. later Warsaw was invited to re-enter, he believes. Our present administrators were certainly not here at the time and are therefore poorly qualified to state whether or not the tension and pressure were more or less with Warsaw out. There must have been pressure to get back in, because for at least two decades Warsaw has played. That is a generality if there ever was one.
(Warsaw was ousted over a ticket dispute, we understand.)
No. 5 -- When the feeling between the county schools and Warsaw is good it seems the proper time for withdrawing rather than when there has been some friction.
It Doesn't Make Sense
When the feeling is good, it seems to us, Warsaw has even less of a bona fide reason for quitting than when the feeling is bad. In fact, Warsaw apparently has no reason for quitting the tourney and the only reason it is quitting is because the administrators want to quit and have been bound and determined to quite at the earliest opportunity, regardless of "feeling" and "friction".
No. 6 -- Warsaw having been defeated in the majority of the tourneys during the past has no feeling of superiority and an attitude of being "too good" to play with the other county schools does not exist.
In view of the record, certainly Warsaw should not have this attitude. However, if this is not the feeling and attitude then what overmastering sentiment prompts this withdrawal? Certainly, to rupture a relationship of at least a score of years there should be motives most potent.
These "reasons" do not tell why Warsaw must get out of the tourney.
Why does Warsaw have to get out of the tourney?
Editorial -- Friday, April 10, 1953
On Just One Point
It might be well to reassure those who might suppose that the School City of Warsaw and The Warsaw Times-Union are about to recall their ambassadors and break off diplomatic relations because of this matter of the county basketball tournament.
Nothing could be more unlikely.
In all matters except this decision by the school administrators to withdraw from the tourney all things are as before and our support of Mr. Burt, Mr. Riley and the school board remains 100 percent.
On this single pin-pointed matter, however, we cannot state too strongly that the school men have on a personal basis acted against the best interests of the public.
Their avowed "reasons" for withdrawing must, we feel, be completely discounted and the real reasons dragged out into the light.
We think Warsaw withdrew because the officials, egged on by hot-headed adult fans, decided they no longer wanted to put up with the bronx cheers and more vicious displays of ill feeling directed at Warsaw players by adult fans and an official or two from the county towns in the 1952 county tourney.
There you have it in a nutshell.
Rather than stand and take it Warsaw "took a powder".
It was not necessary that the apple-cart be upset, either. The school men had in their power at all times, by taking firm measures, to end any display of viciousness by adults at the tourney. Those getting out of hand could have and should have been ejected and barred from further attendance. If necessary, all adults should have been barred. The tourney, after all, is a student affair.
Rather than push for this proper step Warsaw fans and officials nursed their hurt feelings and decided to cut and run.
But, running away has seldom solved any problem and it will not solve this one. Warsaw must ask to be re-admitted to the tourney and tourney officials must assume the leadership they are hired to exert and solve this problem the way it ought to be solved.
As we say, though a break in relations between The Times-Union and the Warsaw schools could not be imagined, a breakdown of friendly relations between the Warsaw and the county schools on this matter is not in the least far-fetched.
[Marge's note: I don't believe Warsaw ever again play in the County Basketball Tournament]