LAINGSBURG — A month after agreeing to revisit the contested Jan. 7 Laingsburg-Potterville game, the Central Michigan Athletic Conference decided to stand by its decision to essentially vacate the controversial game.
But that decision has left it unclear which team should be declared the league champion for the 2019-20 season.
Laingsburg appealed a 68-67 Jan. 7 loss to Potterville, citing a scoring discrepancy that credited the Vikings with a layup that didn’t occur. In a statement to The Argus-Press, CMAC president Chad Podolak said the conference’s position on the game hasn’t changed since its Feb. 3 athletic director meeting.
“Depending on how the season plays out, no team shall be negatively impacted by the result of the Laingsburg at Potterville game on January 7, 2020,” Podak said in a statement after the Feb. 3 meeting. “The league will revisit the contested game at the March 2 athletic director’s meeting to determine the final, official conference standings.”
However, according to Laingsburg officials, the conference didn’t make its final decision at the Monday meeting. Rather, it elected to wait until after that night’s slate of games to finalize the resolution.
That didn’t sit well with Wolfpack head coach Daniel Morrill.
“Everything that we said should have never been done has played out exactly how we thought it shouldn’t,” Morrill said. “Now things are developing and you’re picking or choosing winners in a way. (The league) should have just came out with a ruling and let the season play out.”
The Wolfpack downed Middleton Fulton 61-53 Monday and the CMAC locked in the resolution. Laingsburg ended conference play with a 64-46 victory Wednesday over Dansville, bringing its record in the CMAC to 14-1 under the league’s ruling.
The next day, Pewamo-Westphalia defeated Fulton 75-24, making the Pirates 15-1 in conference play. P-W and Laingsburg split during the regular season, leaving the league without a clear-cut champion.
Morrill believes the resolution means Laingsburg has at least a share of the title.
“My interpretation of the resolution is that we can’t get punished in the league standings for the (Potterville) game and that means we have a co-championship at a minimum,” he said.
As of press time Friday night, the CMAC had yet to determine the final standings, but at least one CMAC athletic director agreed the Wolfpack should win a share of the league title. An email chain obtained by The Argus-Press shows Podolak asking if enough games had been played to determine a league champion, and if Laingsburg and P-W were tied.
Portland St. Patrick AD Patrick Russman replied with the following:
“To my understanding, that is what we agreed upon,” said Russman. “P-W has one to play and is at 14-1 Laingsburg is complete at 14-2. Even with a P-W loss that would make it a tie; since no teams were to be negatively impacted by the first Potterville and Laingsburg game for conference standings. Congratulations to P-W and Laingsburg.”