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Sunday, February 23, 2014

The City of Charlotte does not deserve the CIAA basketball tournament

This is the last year that the CIAA Basketball tournament is contracted to be in Charlotte. Here's my hope, I hope another city comes in and takes the tournament away.

Yes, I live in Charlotte. The greatest CIAA school in the world, Johnson C. Smith University, is in Charlotte but the City of Charlotte doesn't deserve this tournament.

Over the last nine years, the city has made an average of $50 Million. The CIAA has made $9 Million for the member schools scholarships. That. Is. Not. Right.

According to The Charlotte Observer, "Last year, the CIAA rebuffed the city’s request to exclusively negotiate a contract extension. Instead, the association has said it will issue a formal request that all interested cities submit proposals.
At stake is one of the city’s biggest tourism events, estimated to generate more than $40 million in economic impact."

If the City of Charlotte is making that much money off the league, there is no way in habanero hell that the league should have a short fall. $1 Million of scholarship money over the last nine years is a joke and disrespectful. It's like The Rolling Stones making millions from Satisfaction while Otis Redding made pennies.

Charlotte doesn't make this kind of money from the professional basketball team that plays in the arena where the tournament is held. What's sad about the changes in the tournament over the last nine years is that this week is less about basketball and more about parties and celebrities. More about paying $70 to $80 to park in spots that were free last week.

The City of Charlotte has exploited the CIAA and the fans of the tournament. Party promoters start flooding social media and email inboxes on Jan. 21 --I know because that's how long I have been deleting emails -- with parties and nonsense that has nothing to do with the games.

For years, the CIAA allowed others to take control over how their tournament was covered. If you turn on a local news station during CIAA week, there's more talk about parties and vendors at and near the arena that the basketball games.
Have you ever seen the ACC tournament covered in this way?

New CIAA Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter came to the association in the fall of 2012 from the NCAA, where she worked to stage the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
She said Friday the association will release its formal request for cities to bid on the event in “a few weeks.” She said 10 cities have expressed interest, including Charlotte, Raleigh, Atlanta, Greensboro, Washington D.C., Brooklyn, N.Y. and Baltimore.
“The CIAA is no different from any other sporting event,” Carpenter said, in that it wants to maximize the value of the tournament to the association’s schools.
The athletic association’s tax return for the year ending in June 2012 suggests the CIAA may need more money. The CIAA ran a $1.7 million operating deficit that year, on revenues of $5.9 million.
Carpenter inherited that deficit from Leon Kerry, the CIAA’s longtime commissioner who retired abruptly in the fall of 2011.

Read more here:
Go on, Miss Jacqie! I don't blame you for making sure that the league gets the money it needs. I applaud you and when you move the tournament, I will be the first one to defend what you did and why you did it.

For one, some of the main party spots where folks will be spending thousands of dollars this week, only open their doors to African Americans for one week a year.
And I, for one, will be damned if I'm going to spend money where I'm not openly welcomed every day. Or, in my Samuel L. Jackson voice, every damned day.

Too many people come to Charlotte for the "CIAAs," who know NOTHING about the member schools or they can't even spell school with out a K. Stop saying you're coming to the tournament, when in truth -- you're coming to a damned party.


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