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Time-out: The Ashland Ultimatum

In 1944 Marion Harding played their home games in the Edison Junior High gym where they had lost only one league game. The place was criticized by everyone in the league. After the second league game that season, Ashland Supt. J.E. Bohn and Principal Arthur B. Gorsuch informed the Marion officials that they would not play any more games in that band box. It was 15 feet narrower than Ashland's home court. The action threatened to break-up the NCO.

At the league meeting (Galion March 6, 1944) the longest discussion in NCO history took place. Marion would not make any concessions. Other schools said that if Ashland didn't play at the Edison gym they shouldn't have to either. It was suggested that the Prexys play all away games or they find a neutral site to play the games. It was recalled that in 1941 when the Steam Shovel building was closed, Marion played all their "home" games in the Ohio Wesleyan gym. Nevertheless, neither Ashland nor Marion would budge.

A motion was made that they disband the league. It was defeated three to two. Mt. Vernon was not present at the meeting. Later, a motion was adopted by a three to two vote that if anyone did not fulfill their league obligations, the league would be broken up. In other words if Ashland did not play at Marion the next December the NCO was over. Someone reminded the others about Mansfield and the night games several years earlier. Someone else suggested that they consider inviting Mansfield back into the league. The Ashland delegates made no decision. Futhermore, the great irony of the meeting was that the officials approved a ten-year schedule of football and basketball games

The next morning in a conference in Ashland Supt. Bohn, Principal Gorsuch, Faculty Manager Sid Boyd, Coach A.L. Buckner, and T-G Sports Editor Bill McKee decided that Ashland would not break up the league, and they backed down on their ultimatum. Bill McKee wrote, "Ashland, in effect, lost the game." However, the next December 15th Ashland upset the Hardings for their first win in the Edison gym. Regardless, the league still fell apart and 1944-45.