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Newman to us: None of your Business

Chicago State's Dickens Athletic Center
photo courtesy Columbia Chronicle

Wednesday, January 9, 11:02am ET

American Basketball Association CEO Joe Newman told almostbasketball Wednesday morning to mind its own business.

Asked to comment on our report that Chicago State Athletic Director Al Avant said it would be "impossible" for the University to host Chicago Skyliners' home games in January and February, Newman bristled.

"Personally, I don't think it was any of your business to call Chicago State and to discuss the Skyliners," said Newman via email.

"The fact is that the operations, negotiations, and other business of the Chicago Skyliners are theirs to determine and any information as relates to their team is theirs to release," continued the league's head man.

Avant told almostbasketball Tuesday evening that his first contact with the Skyliners came just that day, apparently contradicting Newman's assertion that the team had "worked out a deal with another quality Chicago venue".

"This was this was the first time that I had any knowledge about their desire of wanting to play their home games (here)," Avant said, noting that a Skyliners representative had submitted a request only Tuesday to use the school's 2,500-seat Dickens Athletic Center.

This came after the second-year ABA team apparently backed out of a verbal agreement that would have seen them play at the Pavillion at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Newman told almostbasketball Tuesday morning that Thursday's home opener against Detroit, as well as games on January 13th against Indiana and January 15th against Southern California, had been postponed "to accomodate the new venue" and would be made up at a later date.

They apparently won't be played at CSU, where, Avant says, "January and February would be impossible."

Then, looking at a list of dates submitted by team co-owner Calvin Jarrett, Avant allowed, "If they want to come back and talk about March and April, we'll look at those dates. But they haven't even given me times on some of these dates.

"Our men's and women's (basketball) teams sometimes have a hard time getting in (to Dickens) to practice," said Avant, noting a heavy schedule of intramurals and recreational activities.

"Our first priority is our students," he said. Chicago State has 8,467 students.