BCL to go on with postseason tourney, discusses expansion

The Baltimore Catholic League, in the midst of its 39th boys basketball season, is expected to undergo changes next year in regular-season and postseason scheduling, along with the possibility of expansion.

Administrators among the league's seven schools - six of which also compete in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference - met Wednesday night to discuss the issues, which were first brought up in November at an impromptu meeting among representatives of five of the seven schools.


The primary concern was the BCL's postseason tournament, which immediately follows the MIAA playoffs, and there were early discussions to possibly cancel this year's tournament and end the long-standing league.

"I think there were some issues they were feeling that they never really voiced until recently," said BCL commissioner Jack Degele, who initiated Wednesday's meeting at Mount St. Joseph. "Their thinking was the BCL was redundant with the MIAA, and why even have it? But I explained a little about the history, why we do it and why it's important."


It was decided Wednesday that this year's tournament will go on as planned, set for Feb. 27-March 1 at Loyola University's Reitz Arena.

Another meeting is tentatively set for Feb. 23 to discuss changes for future years.

Regular-season games might no longer be scheduled on Sundays. Ideas to combine the two postseason tournaments into one will also be discussed, as will the possibility of welcoming new schools to the league. John Carroll, one of three MIAA schools that does not compete in the BCL, is interested in joining.

"It was a good meeting in that we resolved things we had to resolve for the current season and we also scheduled a future meeting to find solutions for the coming years," said Calvert Hall principal Lou Heidrick, who was asked to speak on behalf of the BCL member schools.

The BCL, which consists of MIAA schools Archbishop Spalding, Calvert Hall, Cardinal Gibbons, Loyola, Mount St. Joseph and St. Frances, along with non-MIAA school St. Maria Goretti, was founded in 1972. The league dropped to seven schools this season after Towson Catholic closed its doors.

The BCL champion, and often the league runner-up, gets invited to the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament in Cumberland, regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country.

"The Catholic League gives some good publicity to the schools and helps our student-athletes get good exposure. Also, the alumni among all the schools are very tied in with the BCL's long tradition," Heidrick said.