Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 10, 2013

EAST KENTUCKY BASKETBALL HISTORY:Paintsville and Pikeville an early and dirty basketball rivalry

(Continued)

PAINTSVILLE —

division they can go on to the tournament and for that reason I am the only one here that will take any steps against them.”

Then, according to an affidavit from Whitesburg coach Beckham Combs, on January 24, 1930, Pikeville High allowed two players, George Reynolds and Homer Sowards, who were ineligible, to play under the assumed names of Mullins and Childers. To make matters worse, when Pikeville learned that Whitesburg had discovered the true identity of those players, they made calls to the Principal of Whitesburg High School and stated that they would forfeit the game to them if they just did not say anything about the players playing under an assumed name. Mr. J. L. Keffer, secretary of the Ashland High School Athletic Association, wrote to the KHSAA on February 27, 1930, “I would like to call your attention to the fact that this is not the first time that Pikeville has been guilty of violating our rules of eligibility. In 1926 this same charge was brought against them and after the charges were substantiated, Pikeville had one of their men disqualified by the State Athletic Association. Mr. Ligon was at that time President of the Athletic Association and advised Pikeville that any further discrepancies of this nature would result in their suspension from the Athletic Association. Inasmuch as Paintsville is a member of the Association and is trying to help clean up athletics in the Big Sandy Valley, we feel we owe them our support in this effort.”

Nothing more was heard of the matter until March 7, 1930, right before the 32nd District Tournament. On that date Coach Walker from Paintsville sent a Western Union telegram to the KHSAA which read, “Pikeville High will cause complications in my tournament[.] teams won’t play them[.] what must I do[.]” The reply from the offices of the KHSAA in Richmond, KY read, “Teams which refuse to play will forfeit games.” The teams backed down from their threats and Pikeville participated in the tournament and when Paintsville and Pikeville met there were surely many in the stands rooting for the Tigers.

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