IHSAA assistant commissioner Robert Faulkens walked around West Side's football facility on Sunday and took pictures. He has the final call about whether West Side will be allowed to host Friday's Class 4A Sectional 17 championship game against E.C. Central.
The IHSAA already denied the Cougars' home game in the sectional opener on Oct. 25. The Gary school board gave the school $20,000 to help upgrade West Side's facility, but Faulkens said the gesture was too late.
"You can't make up for 15 years of neglect in two weeks," Faulkens said.
West Side has asked Morton if it could host the sectional championship there. The two schools will meet today to finalize the agreement.
Faulkens said the IHSAA will make the final call by Wednesday morning at the latest.
"I don't foresee us playing the game at West Side," Faulkens said.
What complicates the issue is that Bowman Academy has also asked Morton if the Eagles could use the field for their Class 2A Sectional 33 championship game against Rensselaer.
Bowman played Boone Grove at Roosevelt on Friday. Faulkens said that is unlikely.
"Roosevelt's field is 10 times worse than West Side's," he said.
Faulkens said there is a possibility of moving the Bowman-Rensselaer game to E.C. Central's field, if the Cardinals play West Side at Morton.
West Side coach Jason Johnson said on Sunday that the $20,000 helped purchase new goal posts and 25-second clocks. But the clocks had not yet been connected to a power source on Sunday.
"I don't think one week of work will change our attitude," IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox said. "If they continue to make these improvements the potential for the future is good, but until things improve it's not going to happen."