In the State Tournament, Mater Dei Is Paying the Price For Its Success

Times Staff Writer

The price of a State basketball championship may be a little more than Mater Dei High School bargained for.

Gary McKnight, the Monarchs' coach, said that the school could end up paying "thousands of dollars" if it reaches the State title game March 22 at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Arena.

"It's costing us money to play in the State tournament," McKnight said. "We sold 500 presale tickets for our game against (Fresno) Edison on Thursday night and received 50 cents for each ticket sold.

"It cost $400 for the team bus. We also had a bus for the cheerleaders and the band. We drew 3,000 fans and lost money."

Margaret R. Davis, associate commissioner in the State CIF office in Fullerton, said ticket sales revenue sharing is determined by the host section. The Los Angeles City Section is the host section for the 1986 regionals.

The Monarchs will play host to Crenshaw tonight in the Los Angeles Sports Arena with the winner advancing to Oakland. McKnight anticipates a costly trip to the Bay Area if his team wins.

Under State CIF financial regulations, the school representing Southern California in the State tournament is limited to a maximum traveling party of 17 players, coaches and administrators.

A maximum allowance of 80 cents per mile is reimbursed for transportation. All additional persons beyond the 17 limit are the school's financial responsibility. Davis said the travel figures were based on a recommendation by the section commissioners.

"I've got four coaches, an athletic director, my principal, a team manager and 15 varsity players," McKnight said. "It could cost our school thousands of dollars just to get to Oakland. The whole State tournament wasn't well thought-out."

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