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Has Indiana Become a Football State?


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Football in Indiana has come a long way. I got into HS coaching in 1986. No way would I have believed how expanded the season as become with: passing camps, spring football, summer "workouts". We use to call that cheating. 

In school weight programs have made a big difference. There are coaching jobs (not many) that are full-time with little to no teaching responsibilities. Synthetic fields are more common (I realize the cost benefit is almost that of grass, but still requires a significant up-front investment.). I wonder if anyone plays a full season on grass.

IN HS basketball is no longer the only game in town because of AAU when it comes to kids getting recruited. The decline of IU basketball doesn't help their cause. 

Have we finally arrived or are we still a basketball state?

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10 minutes ago, JeffO2 said:

Football in Indiana has come a long way. I got into HS coaching in 1986. No way would I have believed how expanded the season as become with: passing camps, spring football, summer "workouts". We use to call that cheating. 

In school weight programs have made a big difference. There are coaching jobs (not many) that are full-time with little to no teaching responsibilities. Synthetic fields are more common (I realize the cost benefit is almost that of grass, but still requires a significant up-front investment.). I wonder if anyone plays a full season on grass.

IN HS basketball is no longer the only game in town because of AAU when it comes to kids getting recruited. The decline of IU basketball doesn't help their cause. 

Have we finally arrived or are we still a basketball state?

I think it's been that way for many years now.  School consolidations and class basketball changed that landscape a long time ago.

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1 minute ago, Titan32 said:

I think it's been that way for many years now.  School consolidations and class basketball changed that landscape a long time ago.

I think class basketball killed the Cinderella story potential.

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Just now, JeffO2 said:

I think class basketball killed the Cinderella story potential.

I think pre-Covid Indiana HS football game attendance vs basketball game attendance numbers might tell an interesting story.

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I’m not necessarily one of those guys screaming for single class basketball but I will admit that I basically lost interest at that time.

As was also pointed out, although I love Butler and Purdue, once IU firmly became the 3rd best college hoops program in the state (very deservedly) much of the interest has waned....it’s fun watching all the East coast IU fanboys beat their chests, though....at least til they go back home.

6 minutes ago, Titan32 said:

I think pre-Covid Indiana HS football game attendance vs basketball game attendance numbers might tell an interesting story.

Yes....and it’s been that way for at least 10-15 years. HS gyms have all the gala of retirement communities these days.

 

 

Edited by Lysander
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47 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

No.  High School basketball is King in Indiana and always will be.  

Depends on what part of the state you are in. Basketball is second fiddle for winter sports in Adams County. That's just how it is.

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Not much interest in bball in communities- not much participation.  Football allows so many more kids to participate it's only natural that there's more interest from families and friends.  It's been this way for years- walk into the gyms and nobody there, game is slow and boring.  I also think the uniqueness of 1 game each week and it's the only game on weekend evenings in the fall helps football. There's 3 bball games a week sometimes- girls games on weekends, it's not the only game in town like football is in the fall.

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There may be a few communities where basketball gets the support, but one thing we learned from this football season; football drives the budgets of many more schools, AND the budget of the IHSAA. The IHSAA could afford to cut off the basketball tournament last season, BUT the football season had to happen, or there would have been a high number of schools in trouble financially. Even though crowds were limited at football games, they still drive the budget. So, while the sentimental game may be basketball, the one that pays the bills is football. 

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17 minutes ago, Irishman said:

There may be a few communities where basketball gets the support, but one thing we learned from this football season; football drives the budgets of many more schools, AND the budget of the IHSAA. The IHSAA could afford to cut off the basketball tournament last season, BUT the football season had to happen, or there would have been a high number of schools in trouble financially. Even though crowds were limited at football games, they still drive the budget. So, while the sentimental game may be basketball, the one that pays the bills is football. 

I contend that was more a matter of the timing of the initial pandemic outbreak, and the fear and uncertainty concerning the transmission of the virus that drove the decisions being made at the time.

 

 

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2 hours ago, JeffO2 said:

Football in Indiana has come a long way. I got into HS coaching in 1986. No way would I have believed how expanded the season as become with: passing camps, spring football, summer "workouts". We use to call that cheating. 

In school weight programs have made a big difference. There are coaching jobs (not many) that are full-time with little to no teaching responsibilities. Synthetic fields are more common (I realize the cost benefit is almost that of grass, but still requires a significant up-front investment.). I wonder if anyone plays a full season on grass.

IN HS basketball is no longer the only game in town because of AAU when it comes to kids getting recruited. The decline of IU basketball doesn't help their cause. 

Have we finally arrived or are we still a basketball state?

I don't know if football has taken over the top spot from basketball, but Indiana has become MORE of a football state...especially since the Colts have been good.

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6 hours ago, Basementbias said:

Depends on what part of the state you are in. Basketball is second fiddle for winter sports in Adams County. That's just how it is.

Nobody got it. Lol

6 hours ago, Basementbias said:

Depends on what part of the state you are in. Basketball is second fiddle for winter sports in Adams County. That's just how it is.

Several counties 

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Football is important in the places where people make it to be. I was born and raised in Ohio. Despite the quality of football in some places, the importance of football always felt paramount. It's almost unfathomable football wouldn't happen. Having spent my latter high school years, and my entire coaching career here in Indiana I can tell you that my opening statement is very much the same. Football is important in the places where people have made an effort to make it so. As a whole I feel it will be hard to uproot basketball's title as king in Indiana...but football in Indiana is on the rise. The quality of our game is increasing. It's a very exciting thing!

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10 hours ago, Lysander said:

I’m not necessarily one of those guys screaming for single class basketball but I will admit that I basically lost interest at that time.

As was also pointed out, although I love Butler and Purdue, once IU firmly became the 3rd best college hoops program in the state (very deservedly) much of the interest has waned....it’s fun watching all the East coast IU fanboys beat their chests, though....at least til they go back home.

Yes....and it’s been that way for at least 10-15 years. HS gyms have all the gala of retirement communities these days.

 

 

Hey. I resemble that remark about retirement communities. 

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11 hours ago, southend said:

Nobody got it. Lol

Several counties 

When Adams County starts the one and only High School Wrestling Weekly radio show & podcast, that tells you where basketball falls. Especially when covering wrestling on the local radio is a priority and then they fit in the basketball games around the matches. Guess that's what happens when you have a historically powerful Bellmont wrestling program and then a decent in single class but stalwart in the new classed wrestling system in Adams Central, and South Adams making some appearances in the new classed system.

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3 hours ago, Titan32 said:

I'm sure there are places in Indiana where basketball is still king...but I haven't been there.

Counties without football like Martin County. Haha

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12 hours ago, Basementbias said:

When Adams County starts the one and only High School Wrestling Weekly radio show & podcast, that tells you where basketball falls. Especially when covering wrestling on the local radio is a priority and then they fit in the basketball games around the matches. Guess that's what happens when you have a historically powerful Bellmont wrestling program and then a decent in single class but stalwart in the new classed wrestling system in Adams Central, and South Adams making some appearances in the new classed system.

The real athletic sport. 

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On 2/5/2021 at 2:41 PM, Irishman said:

There may be a few communities where basketball gets the support, but one thing we learned from this football season; football drives the budgets of many more schools, AND the budget of the IHSAA. The IHSAA could afford to cut off the basketball tournament last season, BUT the football season had to happen, or there would have been a high number of schools in trouble financially. Even though crowds were limited at football games, they still drive the budget. So, while the sentimental game may be basketball, the one that pays the bills is football. 

Yep.

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20 hours ago, Titan32 said:

I'm sure there are places in Indiana where basketball is still king...but I haven't been there.

Yep. It is still a “Hoosiers” experience for those small southern Indiana schools like Washington, Barr-Reeve and Linton-Stockton, although the Miners do it in football as well!

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I think it’s rising to be one finally, loads of good teams year in and year our in all the classes. Basketball will still be king though. Don’t count out Soccer too( maybe because I’m spoiled). 

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On 2/5/2021 at 1:01 PM, Muda69 said:

No.  High School basketball is King in Indiana and always will be.  

True words, Muda.  Football's post-season is far too long and dominated by private schools...

 

A number of little schools still dont have a football team (up here, Hebron, Kouts, Morgan Township, Westville, Marquette)

Damn few girls play football.....thousands play basketball

Basketball rules in Indiana. That wont change soon.

On 2/6/2021 at 4:17 PM, Titan32 said:

I'm sure there are places in Indiana where basketball is still king...but I haven't been there.

Come to Porter County.

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On 2/6/2021 at 5:17 PM, Titan32 said:

I'm sure there are places in Indiana where basketball is still king...but I haven't been there.

I would guess rural communities in the hills of Southern Indiana where they still wax poetic about Bobby and Damon. Personally, I have felt for a while that baseball is king in NWI. I could see football and even baseball being bigger deals in Hamilton County over basketball. I would say basketball is king in Marion County. Football in Allen County. 
 

I would imagine the large field houses in urban areas that have allowed Indiana kids to play baseball and football year round has probably hurt basketball.

Edited by Boilernation
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