Local News

Some Wake Parents Crying Foul Over Boys', Girls' Basketball Teams

Posted February 25, 2003

— The parents of some Wake County high school basketball players are calling foul. They are upset the girls' games have been shifted to different nights, keeping a lot of fans out of the stands.

Friday's Cap 6 title game between the Millbrook and Broughton girls' teams culminated a long and frustrating year for some parents.

Karen Mastroianni, mother of a junior girls' basketball player at Sanderson, said she did not see a lot of people at the games. She blames the lack of support on a conference schedule change that separated the boys' and girls' playing nights. Varsity and junior varsity girls' teams played one night while both boys' team played on another night.

"There was just no participation. No one was coming to the games," she said.

The male principals from Cap 6 conference schools voted for the change while the two female leaders from Cap 6 conference schools voted against.

Broughton High School principal Diane Payne believes returning girls' and boys' varsity games to the same nights and locations will promote fairness.

"To me, it's an issue of fairness," she said. "Under the system that we have right now that our conference approved, the girls' program is not getting that, and I think they deserve it."

While fewer fans have been showing up for the girls' games, other principals argue the change helps set up their own foundation of fan support, instead of coattailing off the boys' teams. They also feel like it helps to unify the junior varsity and varsity programs.

Critics point out that students pay $5 to attend games, so separating the varsity teams becomes an issue of time and money for fans.

"I think they make a choice and it's usually a choice for the boys," Mastroianni said.

Mastroianni and other parents want to go back to the old schedules so fans can support both.

Split schedules are not unprecendented. Other conferences have also separated boys and girls games. Principals who supported the split did not return our calls to WRAL on Tuesday. Cap 6 leaders will meet to talk about the scheduling next week.

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