NHIAA bylaw halts underclassmen all-star game; may be rescheduled for summer
By JOHN HABIB New Hampshire Union Leader
Had it not been for a story in the New Hampshire Union Leader sports section on Tuesday, NHIAA Executive Director Pat Corbin said he may have had a serious matter on his hands involving 48 underclassmen basketball players.
"I started reading about 48 of the best basketball players competing in an all-star game and when I saw it involved underclassmen, I quickly put a stop to it," said Corbin. "This could have been a real mess."
He was talking about the NH Chips All-Star Underclassmen Showcase for girls and boys.
The event was scheduled for Friday at the Goldie Crocker Wellness Center at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord.
That event is now cancelled because, as Corbin put it, "it's illegal. It's a direct violation of our rule."
Section 10 of the NHIAA bylaws, regarding eligibility, states, "The NHIAA does neither sanction nor endorse any All-Star team or competition (during the school year) in any sport at any level. A student athlete who is a member of an NHIAA school team may not participate in an All-Star game/event, in season or out, without losing eligibility in that sport for one full year (365 days) from the date of such participation with the All-Star team.
"Following completion of high school eligibility in a sport and prior to graduation from high school, a senior student athlete may participate in an All-Star competition." Thus, the Senior Showcase, featuring top seniors, is still on for Saturday at NHTI. Girls' games will be played at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., followed by boys' games at 5:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.
Corbin explained the bylaw is not just a New Hampshire rule.
"It's virtually the rule in every state in the country," he said. "If I didn't read the article or heard about it (all-star showcase) from someone, I would have hated to declare 48 of the top underclassmen basketball players ineligible for the next 365 days."
Corbin said he contacted all-star showcase organizer Paul Hogan, who is the men's basketball coach, athletic director, and a professor in the sports management program at NHTI.
"Paul was absolutely cooperative in this matter," said Corbin. "From the get-go, he said he didn't want to jeopardize any of the players' eligibility. I've set a meeting with him next week to go over the rules and regulations."
Corbin said if Hogan wishes to hold the all-star games during the summer, when school is on vacation, he is permitted to do it.
"I'm planning to meet with Pat on Monday because I still want to hold this showcase in the summer," said Hogan. "I will throw some dates at Pat and make sure we're doing this the right way in line with the NHIAA. It will be a coordinated effort."