Salem/ Wild­cats agree­ment on hold

The Covington News - - SPORTS - SHAKEEM HOL­LOWAY shol­loway@cov­news.com

Ac­cord­ing to Cindy Ball, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­nity re­la­tions of Rock­dale County pub­lic schools, an agree­ment be­tween Salem and the Wild­cats has not yet been fi­nal­ized — de­spite a press re­lease stat­ing that an agree­ment was fi­nal­ized.

Salem High School prin­ci­pal Tonya Blood­worth in­formed the At­lanta Wild­cats that she was can­celling the “Back to School Jam­boree” shortly af­ter the an­nounce­ment was re­leased on Aug. 12, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease.

The re­lease said that the event’s can­cel­la­tion was in­flu­enced by the Rock­dale County Pub­lic Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent Richard Autry be­ing un­aware of the agree­ment de­tails that were dis­cussed be­tween the Wild­cats and Salem’s ath­letic de­part­ment.

The Wild­cats’ ad­min­is­tra­tor sent a let­ter to Autry re­quest­ing a re­view of the agree­ment, which would hope­fully al­low the back-to-school event to go on for Satur­day. As of now, there hasn’t been a re­sponse.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, the team now has to se­cure another venue for Satur­day and pos­si­bly the sea­son.

“In the next few months, we have to build a fan base, pro­mote aware­ness of our pres­ence in the com­mu­nity, and sched­ule our sea­son games with other ABA teams across the na­tion,” Wil­liam Pay­ton, Wild­cats’ owner, said in the re­lease. “…We were given ap­proval to hold the Back-To-School Jam­boree this Satur­day. If we did not feel se­cure about what was ver­bally dis­cussed, the press re­lease would not have been sent.”

The “Back to School Jam­boree” was be­ing of­fered free to spec­ta­tors in a pro­mo­tional ef­fort to in­tro­duce the com­mu­nity to the Wild­cats’ team and in­form them how their at­ten­dance would ben­e­fit the stu­dents and help raise money for Salem.

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