LAINGSBURG — The Central Michigan Athletic Conference has reached a tentative resolution to the months-long Laingsburg-Potterville scoring dispute stemming from their Jan.7 matchup.
Laingsburg is currently appealing a 68-67 loss to Potterville. The Wolfpack allege the Vikings were credited with a layup that never happened.
The resolution was reached Feb. 3 at a CMAC Athletic Directors’ meeting.
League President Chad Podolak forwarded this statement to the Argus-Press:
“CMAC athletic directors gathered Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. As part of the agenda the contested varsity boys basketball game between Laingsburg and Potterville was discussed. Both schools presented their sides and discussion was opened up to the rest of the group. The following is the league’s position:
Depending on how the season plays out, no team shall be negatively impacted by the result of the Jan. 7, 2020 Laingsburg @ Potterville game. The league will revisit the contested game at the March 2 athletic directors’ meeting to determine the final, official standings.”
Laingsburg Athletic Director Jason Dykstra said the resolution was suggested by Bath AD Erik Harrelson, the same athletic director Bath had when a different Potterville scoring discrepancy cost the Fighting Bees a conference win in 2006.
“It would have been nice to come to this agreement a month ago,” said Dykstra “When the game happened we tried to reach out to Potterville and there wasn’t a whole lot of communication with us.”
That limited communication between the two athletic directors led to a pretty big revelation at the league meeting.
“I wasn’t aware that Potterville had re-scored the game; they knew that we actually won,” said Dykstra. “I asked (Potterville’s AD Bradley Carlstrom): ‘My original question the day after this happened was did you guys re-score the game and you didn’t respond to me; and I still don’t know if you did.’ And (Carlstrom) responded to me saying ‘I did.’ to the fact that we had one more point then they did.”
Emails obtained by the Argus-Press show in an email conversation between the two schools and the MHSAA Dykstra asked Carlstrom if the game had been reviewed and rescored based on the game film two days after the incident. Carlstrom responded to the email chain but didn’t address Dykstra’s question.
Even though a resolution, albeit a tentative one, was reached, many aren’t fully satisfied with the outcome, including Laingsburg basketball head coach Daniel Morrill. Morrill was initially asked by Laingsburg administration to attend the meeting but that invitation was rescinded a day before the meeting took place.
“I would have liked to see a little bit more come out of the meeting,”said Morrill. “I would still like a position statement from Potterville. I would like to know (if) they talked to their scorekeeper/bookkeeper and (would like them to) give a statement as to the events that occurred. I think that everyone concerned with the matter deserves answers to those questions.”
Morrill also questioned why the league didn’t just completely vacate the game.
“If the (CMAC) nullified the game as it comes down to (potentially) hurting us in the conference race, why not just negate the game all together?”
Another CMAC coach agreed with nearly all of Morrill’s points. The coach,who wished to remain anonymous, wishes the league would’ve taken a stronger stance.
“Some of these league members are afraid to make enemies within the league; that’s why the result wasn’t stronger,” said the coach.
The coach would have preferred the league vote to either give Potterville the win, replay the game or vacate the game entirely.
The coach also said that the only reason the CMAC had to make the decision was because the MHSAA said it couldn’t do anything about the game.
“National playing rules dictate that once the officials leave the game is over and (the MHSAA) is out,” said MHSAA representative Geoff Kimmerly. “After the game the league decides (and has power over) game results and standings.”
Kimmerly did note that the MHSAA was in contact with the CMAC prior to the meeting as the league wanted to gauge what their power(s) were on settling the issue but has had no conversation with the CMAC following their meeting.
Additionally, according to Kimmerly, the MHSAA and has not requested that Potterville or Laingsburg to pursue any specific action.
The Central Michigan Athletic Conference plans to add a measure to the league bylaws that requires bookkeepers from both the home and visiting schools to confirm scores with each other and the scoreboard operator in-game in an effort to prevent this kind of incident from happening again.