Now, from the day late and a dollar short department

BILL MARTIN

While we’re smack dab in the middle of football season, there’s no better time for a little basketball news.

In an unprecedented move, the University Interscholastic league’s state executive committee granted a request by Dallas’ Triple A Academy to move up two classifications and compete in Class 3A in boys basketball this season.

For the uninformed, Triple A Academy caused quite a ruckus last March at the state basketball tournament when it captured the Class A championship by defeating our neighbors down the road apiece, Mumford.

Now on the surface that seems innocent enough, but Triple A Academy is basically a glorified AAU team disguised as a charter school.

They have no teachers and the school is in a vacated Kroger Grocery Store.

Their roster is loaded with Division I talent from all over the country that most colleges would covet.

All of the above is contrary to what the UIL stands for, yet they slipped through the cracks anyway and were placed in Class A with the likes of Milano, Thorndale... and Mumford.

When Triple A captured the state crown, they were roundly booed by all in attendance at the Superdrum, while Mumford received a standing ovation for its efforts. It was the Mustangs lone loss of the year.

Feeling the pressure and embarrassed, the UIL took measures to prevent this from happening again (other than common sense) and declared that any school must remain in the same district that like schools are in.

What makes this move unprecedented is that it happened between the UIL’s bi-annual realignment which will take place in February.

It is also unusual for a school to request to move up two classifications.

“It was challenging, but they accepted it,” said Leroy McClure, AAU coach and founder of the charter school.

Was there just too much pressure and bad publicity put on the school the reason for the change?

Schools sometime request to remain in a classification with schools from their school district.

UIL Athletic Director Mark Cousins said that to his knowledge, Triple A is the first school to request a move of two classifications.

Triple A has already been placed in District 11-3A, ironically replacing Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep Academy, which after receiving much the same reception as Triple A, withdrew from the UIL.

(As a footnote, certain members of the committee wanted the Triple A girls to move into 3A, but it was voted down. They also made the state tournament, but did not win.)

Triple A will receive an early test of just how good it is, 11-3A houses defending Class 3A champion Dallas Madison.

What this means for Mumford is that they may or may not have a clear shot at that elusive gold crown that has eluded them the past three seasons.

With the current revelation, there are many who will suggest there be an asterisk next to the 2013 Class A state champion, but a lot of good it does Mumford now.

History will have to remember they were crowned “the people’s champions.”

Class A Player of the Year Aubrie King and his crew will surely become the pre-season No. 1 with four returning starters.

Let’s hope that this doesn’t turn into one of those be careful what you wish for situations because they will be expected to win it all, if not make it to state.

They should get their shot and this time, at least it’ll be a fair one.


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2013-09-19 digital edition



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