Templeton talks

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In the wee hours of Saturday morning, MSU athletics director Larry Templeton was a key cog in the decision-making process regarding how the SEC tournament would rebound from Friday’s tornado that suspended play.

He graciously sat down with me at halftime of the UT-Arkansas game to offer a little insight. Here is what he had to say:

GE: How surprised are you that there’s games being played less than 12 hours after a tornado interrupted Friday’s schedule, especially considering all the logistical nightmares the SEC office encountered?
LT: It’s one of the most bizarre domino-affected events you could imagine. But like the old saying, to see the plan come together has been rewarding for everybody involved. At the end of the day, we wanted to do what was best for this championship, and what was best was to play it.

GE: What were your options?
LT: Well, we could have called the tournament off or carried the championship game all the way to Monday.  There were two decisions early in the process. First, we wanted to play the championship.  The other major decision that took place was the sequence of events surrounding the availability of the Dome. The reason we completed our game was that at that time, with the information everybody had, everything in the facility was OK. Now, about the time our game ended, engineers had been able to do some further review, and they were concerned about some issues. That’s why we didn’t let the two other teams (Kentucky and Georgia) come onto the floor. And as we waited, those concerns became an issue in that we didn’t have the answers for. We didn’t know, No. 1, what they might find. They didn’t have the structural engineers there, but they had seen some of the damage on the outside we had not seen.

“Once we decided we couldn’t continue at the Dome, the SEC staff started moving toward this venue at Georgia Tech. We spent a large majority of our time trying to do what would be a competitive balance for everyone involved.”

GE: Was a Plan B in place for such an emergency?
LT: No. We’ve played this tournament for 75 years and have never had a postponement. We’ve gone late a lot of time, but to call off a game because of weather, who would have ever imagined that?

GE: Will there be a refund available for those people who bought tickets?
LT: At some point, the SEC will sit down with the schools and come up with something that is fair. But only five of the athletic directors were here, and we didn’t think it would be fair to make a decision of that magnitude without everyone’s input.

GE: Does the SEC have an insurance policy to help in the recovery on ticket sales losses in a case like this?
LT: No. Now, there is one in place for the football championship game in case of an postponement.

GE: How much sleep did you get last night?
LT: Very, very little. I know some of the guys were leaving to go to the pregame meal.

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3 Responses to “Templeton talks”

  1. imabulldog Says:

    what a game! As much as I hate Ark, they’ve got heart

  2. 2thdoc Says:

    They’ve got heart…and Steven Hill is 2 spots off the ugly scale.

  3. Gregg Ellis Says:

    yeah, 2thdoc, and he has no emotion. He would be a great poster child for Woodstock.

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