Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

June 12, 2014

Coach Alexander expresses mixed sentiments on UIL hoops changes

ROUND ROCK —

The University Interscholastic League's Legislative Council Meetings that took place at the Austin Marriott-North in Round Rock earlier this week produced several changes that will affect high school basketball in Texas.

Beginning in 2015-16 school term the boys and girls state basketball tournaments will move from the Frank Erwin Center on the campus of the University of Texas-Austin to the Alamodome in San Antonio, pending final approval by the facility.

The move southward will end a 93-year run in Austin for the state tournaments.

Jacksonville High School head boys basketball coach Mark Alexander has attended 34 state tournaments in the capital city and he shared his thoughts about the pending change.

I have mixed feelings,” Alexander said. “Thirty-four of my 40 years on this earth I have been to state tournaments in Austin and the Erwin Center has always felt like home. There is so much tradition of playing there.

The move to San Antonio is not bad though. I've attended a (NCAA) Final Four at the Alamodome and everything is so centrally located down in that area that once you get to town you can park your car and not get back in it until it is time to come back home. There are so many hotel and restaurant choices within walking distance of the arena.”

Alexander reflected on several of the problems that have made Austin a less desirable choice in recent years.

Parking on campus is always a hassle until the students get out on that Friday for Spring Break,” he said. “You usually have to park off campus and be bussed in and that requires a lot of planning.

Also with the South By Southwest Music Festival happening at the same time, the cost of hotel rooms is always at a premium; usually I have to go all the way to San Marcos to find an affordable (hotel) room.”

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