Gary Phillips, executive director of the GHSA, said that looking for new venues for basketball championships was not a new process.
“We always, year to year, look around and try to explore any options that may come available,” he said in the wake of an announcement that next year’s finals would not take place at the Macon Coliseum.
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This year, getting the chance to hold championships at the homes of the state’s top athletic programs, Georgia and Georgia Tech, was one the GHSA couldn’t pass up, Phillips said. He added that people around the state frequently ask why the games aren’t held in Atlanta or Athens.
“With the idea of the University of Georgia joining in this situation, it kind of made it something we had to explore,” Phillips said.
Phillips said that the contracts for the two venues would be for just one year but that a verbal agreement for two years was in place.
The championship weekend at the Macon Coliseum became controversial this year when it was discovered that one of the goals was out of position by about a foot. When asked if that situation played into the decision to move the championships to a different site, Phillips said, “not necessarily, no.”
He also said he didn’t anticipate the goal problem to ever present itself again.
“I just don’t ever see that being something that’s overlooked,” he said.
Still, Phillips said that there hadn’t been a protocol in place for GHSA officials to check goal placement. In fact, he said that even during his coaching days, such details never seemed like something that needed to be addressed.
“I don’t remember anything like that,” he said. “It’s just a matter of fact: The court is set up; we’re ready to play.”