Trotwood superintendent seeks answers about impending GWOC breakup


Answers. That’s all anyone interested in the impending breakup of the Greater Western Ohio Conference wants to hear.

That would include Kevin Bell, the superintendent of Trotwood-Madison City Schools. That’s the school district and GWOC member identified as key in 10 member schools likely leaving and starting a league of their own.

News of that isn’t yet 48 hours old, but it continues to resonate throughout at least 20 area communities. That’s how many schools make up the two-conference, four-division GWOC, easily the area’s largest high school affiliation. Half of those schools - Butler, Fairborn, Greenville, Piqua, Sidney, Stebbins, Tippecanoe, Troy, West Carrollton and Xenia – announced on Wednesday their intention to eventually bolt the GWOC, probably at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

What those school administrators, athletic directors and coaches haven’t said is why. Trotwood’s dominance in football and boys basketball apparently is a key reason.

»SPLIT DECISION: 5 things to know about the GWOC’s breakup

Here are five things Bell had to say about the issue in an interview with WHIO-TV’s Caroline Reinwald on Thursday:

1. When you heard about the announcement what was your reaction? “At this point, we just want the answer to the question why have the 10 schools that have decided to leave the GWOC. Why are they forming a league of their own? Why isn’t Trotwood invited to be part of their (new) league? …

What was part of that decision-making process? How did they ultimately arrive there? Why wasn’t Trotwood even part of the conversation or even thought of as being one of the contenders to being part of the new league?”

2. Is it possible because Trotwood dominated in the GWOC this past year? “I don’t want to speculate. I would like for those individuals to step forward and give their reasoning. Maybe that is part of what underlies in why they made the decision to exit the GWOC and have a league of their own. Maybe they for a chance to get to a state semifinal and Trotwood gets in the way of doing that.”

3. Would you want to respond to what your principal at the high school said about this being the only African-American school being left out of that decision? “Ultimately, there are some concerns as far as racial makeup because Trotwood-Madison is predominantly an African-American school. Did that have something to do with it? When you look at the break off of schools, they’re not primarily African-American. They do have African-American students who attend those school buildings, but if you look at the demographics, it makes one ask some questions.”

4. What’s the message this sends to your students, players? “For (our students), they have to ask why don’t these other schools want to compete with us? Kids are kids and they just want to compete. They want to have good rivalries and enjoy the sport. At the kid level, I don’t see any concern or issue. … What’s the problem all of a sudden? Ultimately, it’s an adult-based concern.”

5. Have you heard anything from parents yet? “Not yet. We’re just going to keep messaging that our kids are great kids. They do some wonderful things athletically. When it comes to scholarship offerings to them, we have an abundance, whether it’s academic- or athletic-based scholarships. We had over $6 million last year in scholarship offerings. …

On our end, we feel very comfortable with our programming. We’re just going to keep supporting our kids.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Springfield quickly rebounds from loss at Trotwood-Madison
Springfield quickly rebounds from loss at Trotwood-Madison

It didn’t take long for Springfield senior guard Michael Wallace to rebound from Friday’s stinging 79-72 loss at mighty Trotwood-Madison. Not with the end of the regular season in sight and the postseason on deck. “We can’t wait,” Wallace said. “We’ve got to get this last game over with and then get ready for...
Oakwood bumps Fenwick girls from tournament trail

Fenwick High School’s girls basketball team made a quiet exit from the Division II sectional tournament Saturday, and it wasn’t hard to figure out why. The Falcons shot 21 percent from the floor and misfired on all 17 of their 3-point attempts in a 52-33 loss to Oakwood at Lebanon. “We’ve had games like this,” said Fenwick...
Reds pitcher Finnegan confident he’ll return to form

There is a thin line between confidence and swagger. Brandon Finnegan straddles it. The most productive pitcher from the Johnny Cueto trade with Kansas City, Finnegan does everything full speed. He pitched in the major leagues the year he was drafted. He is the only player to pitch in the College World Series and the World Series the same season. He...
Florida basketball: Gators squander another big second-half lead as slide continues
Florida basketball: Gators squander another big second-half lead as slide continues

Another blown lead, another deflating finish, another setback for the reeling Florida basketball team. The Gators led by as many as 11 points in the second half Saturday at Vanderbilt before letting it slip away down the stretch as the Commodores rallied for a 71-68 win in Nashville. Egor Koulechov had a turnaround 3-pointer in the corner...
Who’s next? Best Arkansas performance of the season lifts basketball over Texas A&M
Who’s next? Best Arkansas performance of the season lifts basketball over Texas A&M

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The NCAA Tournament bubble is a whole lot more comfortable for Arkansas right now. The Razorbacks find themselves still on it, but firmly on the preferred side, after Saturday’s 94-75 win over Texas A&M. Arkansas secured its status in the upper-half of the SEC with the victory. Thanks to losses form...
More Stories